In another instance of suspected black money stashed by Indians abroad, investigative agencies are probing a set of 600 new names and identities which have been provided to India by a “source” during the last financial year.
The information of these suspect accounts were obtained by the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB), a department under the Union Finance Ministry, during the just concluded fiscal through a multi-layered sequence of information exchange on tax related issues and as part of the mandate to unearth black money hidden abroad by Indians.
The CEIB has “disseminated” the data of these 600 cases to the Income Tax department, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Financial Intelligence Unit and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence for further investigation under their respective laws which check tax evasion, money laundering and violations of the foreign exchange Act.
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The note said the CEIB obtained the data through “source” and the list contains names and addresses of individuals and entities of “Indian origin who may have stashed funds abroad in tax havens”.
This is the first time that this important nodal national agency for economic intelligence has obtained data on suspected offshore stash of Indians as, till now, such information was only received by the exclusive wing of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
Sources privy to the development said the list contains the bank accounts of suspected Indians in four tax haven nations and six jurisdictions which are yet to ratify the international treaties of automatic tax exchange which is aimed to check black money and curb instances of tax evasion.
Officials in the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money said all the agencies with whom the list was shared have begun their probes and some “aberrations” vis-a-vis tax laws have been detected.
The names on the list and the subsequent probes have been shared with the SIT also.
Officials, citing secrecy clauses of international tax information exchange treaties, refused to disclose the “source” of the classified information which is understood to have been obtained by the CEIB through its existing mechanisms of economic intelligence.
India, during the last fiscal, had separately received data on over 24,000 instances of alleged tax evasion and dubious funds which has been detected in foreign shores during the same time.
These cases are now under investigation by the taxman even as the SIT on black money has set its eye on tracking the outcome of this classified information which has been received from over a dozen countries during the 2013-14 fiscal.