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Indian gov't goes after 'black'money stashed in Swiss bank accounts

Publication Date : 23-06-2014

 

The Indian government vowed to go after Indian nationals who have stashed "black" money in Swiss accounts.

It said it was now verifying the list of the Indian account holders in Swiss banks.

Swiss authorities have already prepared a list of the Indian account holders which it would soon share with Indian authorities on the basis of which the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Black Money would initiate action, according to sources.

The SIT will first examine the accounts and segregate those where people have deposited their un-taxed wealth or black money in Swiss banks.

Sources in SIT, however, said not all Indian accounts in Swiss banks were black money, some were legally earned money.

The Swiss authorities have already expressed desire to work with the Indian government to check on the unaccounted Indian money in Swiss banks. It has told the Indian government that it would share all information and extend necessary support to the officials of the SIT on Black Money.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had constituted the SIT soon after he took over to probe into black money. Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice M B Shah, is heading the SIT, with another former SC judge, Arijit Pasayat, as his vice chairman. They will be assisted by the revenue secretary, directors of CBI, and other government officials.

The names of the Indian individuals and entities under investigation and their unaccounted wealth in Swiss banks surfaced during an ongoing exercise of Swiss authorities to identify the  concerned beneficiaries, a senior Swiss government official said.

“These individuals and entities are suspected to have held un-taxed money in Swiss banks through structures like trusts, domiciliary companies and other legal entities based out of countries other than India,” the official said.

He refused to divulge the identity of these persons and entities, citing the confidentiality clause of the bilateral information exchange treaty between two countries.

He, however, dismissed claims that black money stashed in Swiss banks by Indians could be to the tune of trillions of dollars, as the latest Swiss National Bank data pegs the total foreign client money across 283 banks in Switzerland at USD 1.6 trillion.

 

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