India intensifies efforts to trace Indians’ Swiss account details

While India and Switzerland last week signed a new pact for automatic exchange of information about account details September 2018 onwards, the pending requests have been made under their existing bilateral tax treaty.

By: PTI | Berne/new Delhi | Published:November 27, 2016 8:54 pm
India, black money, Swiss black money, India-swiss black money, Switzerland, India-Switzerland, India news, Indian Express Under growing global pressure, Switzerland has begun sharing information in cases where other countries have been able to present some evidence of suspected illegalities. (AP Photo)

Stepping up its efforts to trace black money parked abroad, India has shot off at least 20 ‘administrative assistance’ requests to Switzerland in recent months seeking details of Indians suspected to have misused Swiss banks’ famed high-secrecy walls to evade taxes.

The individuals and companies about whom India has requested for information include at least three listed companies, former CEO of a real estate major, wife of a Delhi-based former bureaucrat, a Dubai-based Indian origin investment banker, a high-profile fugitive along with his wife and an UAE-based holding company, as also some Gujarati businessmen settled abroad and presumably in trading business.

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Many of these are suspected to have maintained accounts in Swiss banks through offshore entities, including in Panama and British Virgin Islands.

These requests for ‘administrative assistance’, which typically involves exchange of information on submission of proof by the requesting country about the account holder’s wrongdoing, have been documented by Swiss authorities in their Federal Gazette as per local laws to give the concerned person or entity a last chance to appeal against sharing of data.

While India and Switzerland last week signed a new pact for automatic exchange of information about account details September 2018 onwards, the pending requests have been made under their existing bilateral tax treaty.

In the past also, names of some Indian nationals figured in Switzerland’s Federal Gazette notifications after the Swiss authorities were approached by India for information about those people with regard to the pending tax-related probes against them.

After following the due process prescribed under Swiss law, the information has been shared by Switzerland with India in some cases, pursuant to which the Indian authorities –including the tax department and Enforcement Directorate –have proceeded with their prosecution and other actions.

However, the pace of seeking such details seems to have quickened in the recent months, going by the sudden spurt in the number of Indian names figuring in such notifications.

So far in November alone, five Indian names have been disclosed, while a similar number of ‘administrative assistance’ requests were notified in October as well. Since June this year, at least 20 such requests have been disclosed by the Swiss authorities.

Typically, these notifications include name, nationality and date of birth of the concerned individual, while in case of companies, their names and the country of registration are mentioned.

For long, Switzerland has been known for strict secrecy clauses about details of foreigners having accounts in Swiss banks. However, under growing global pressure, Switzerland has begun sharing information in cases where other countries have been able to present some evidence of suspected illegalities.

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  1. I
    indian
    Nov 27, 2016 at 7:26 pm
    Oh boy. Now congress and mamata banerjee will call for another bandh to protest inconvenience to those with hidden Swiss bank accounts
    Reply
    1. M
      Mytake
      Nov 27, 2016 at 8:21 pm
      Following individuals have been exempted from black money list:lt;br/gt;1. Ambani banias - for BJP party fundlt;br/gt;2. Adani banias - for BJP party fundlt;br/gt;3. Aishwarya Rai-b'coz she was the RAFAEL deal maker with Francois Hollandelt;br/gt;4. All brahmin bureaucratic dogs that helped the above.
      Reply
      1. B
        Blah.blah
        Nov 27, 2016 at 8:27 pm
        Pre election(2014) Promise: with in 100 days we will bring back all black money lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Post election Action: We systematically asked all our patrons(contributors to BJP PARTY FUND) to move their black money to the BANKS OF LIECHTENSTEIN AND CAYMAN ISLANDS. Period of action 2.5 yearslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Pre-election(2019) promise: With in 100 days we will bring back all black money
        Reply
        1. S
          Satendra kumar
          Nov 27, 2016 at 8:33 pm
          Under new regulations India and Switzerland sharing of the data thier ideny as a individual or businessman is very constructive as all the resource will be available for tax evasion criminal activities money laundering etc etc.A very bonafide and beneficial for both countries.
          Reply
          1. P
            Pawan
            Nov 28, 2016 at 3:48 am
            Transparency international should put them No.1 country in most corrupt countires as not only they protect all corrupt , their illegal wealth horded due to their illegal global activities . Their actions are affecting w world and causing corruption , terrorism and illegal activities lt;br/gt;All of ys should start a voting ti declare switzerland as a most corrupt nation of world
            Reply
            1. P
              Piyush
              Nov 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm
              Jail to looters !! Jail to pseudo sickulars!! Jail to fake his!
              Reply
              1. A
                Aseem
                Nov 27, 2016 at 6:43 pm
                Eyewash in wake of panic.
                Reply
                1. D
                  Dash
                  Nov 27, 2016 at 4:23 pm
                  Govt is doing its best. That era when people used to loot will cone to an end on yhe next 5-6 years. Today,I visited a village on my way to Mathura from Delhi. The goodwill that PM has generated will finish other parties. It's for sure that Modi is here to stay for 3 terms or even more. Nobody can oust him from power. Even those poor women who used to vote for BSP see Modi as the messiah. I myself was astonished to see this support. This time,tsunami will be bigger than 2014.
                  Reply
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