Black money: ‘Swiss drawing up list of Indians’

The official said that the Swiss authorities were very keen to support the SIT on black money.

By: Press Trust of India | Zurich/new Delhi | Updated: June 23, 2014 9:13 am
The official dismissed the claims that black money stashed in Swiss banks by Indians could be trillions of dollar. (Source: PTI) The official dismissed the claims that black money stashed in Swiss banks by Indians could be trillions of dollar. (Source: PTI)

Switzerland has prepared a list of Indians suspected to have stashed black money in Swiss banks and the details are being shared with the Indian government, according to a senior Swiss government official.

The names of these Indian individuals and entities have come under scanner of the Swiss authorities during an ongoing exercise to identify real beneficiary owners of funds held in various banks operating in Switzerland, the 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, who did not want to be named, told PTI. He refused to divulge the identities of these persons and entities, as also the amount of money they had in banks, citing confidentiality clause of the information exchange treaty between the two countries.

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The official said Swiss authorities were very keen to work with the new government in India and they would also provide all necessary support to the newly set up Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money. He, however, dismissed claims that black money stashed in Swiss banks by Indians could be trillions of dollars, as the latest Swiss National Bank data pegs the total foreign client money across 283 banks in Switzerland at US $1.6 trillion.

When asked about rise in Indian exposure to Swiss banks at 2.03 billion Swiss francs (Rs 14,000 crore), he said these are the funds held by clients who have declared themselves as Indian and therefore were unlikely to be ill-gotten wealth.

The senior official further said the details are being shared with India on a ‘spontaneous’ basis and are different from the information sought earlier by the Indian authorities on the basis of ‘leaked’ or ‘stolen’ lists of certain banks, including the so-called ‘HSBC list’.

The Swiss government has been refusing to share details about the Indians named in this ‘HSBC list’, which was stolen by a bank employee and later found its way to tax authorities in various countries, including India. Despite repeated requests from India, Switzerland has said its local laws prohibit administrative assistance in matters where information has been sourced illegally, including through stolen lists.

The said ‘HSBC list’ allegedly contains names of Indians and other foreign nationals having black money in the Swiss unit of the global banking major.

India is one of the 36 countries with which Switzerland has signed treaties to provide administrative assistance in tax matters in accordance with international standards. In its latest annual report on ‘international financial and tax matters 2014’, the Switzerland’s Federal Department of Finance has committed itself to compliance with international standards in the area of tax administrative assistance.

Switzerland has also agreed to cooperate actively on the development of a global standard for automatic exchange of information to ensure the tax compliance of foreign asset management clients, while putting in place a robust regulatory system for identifying the beneficial owners of all types of legal entity, including trusts and domiciliary companies.

A new framework has also been put in place for exchange of information on request and spontaneous exchange of information in a much more effective manner, while work is underway to enable administrative assistance for previously committed tax crimes within the last three years.

Switzerland’s tax treaty with India also provides for “exchange of information in tax matters to the widest possible extent without allowing the contracting states to engage in fishing expeditions or to request information that is unlikely to be relevant to the tax affairs of a given taxpayer”.

The Swiss regulations also state that “the details to be supplied in the administrative assistance request are important procedural requirements to ensure that fishing expeditions do not occur, but they must not be interpreted in such a way that they frustrate effective exchange of information”.

Swiss government has said that it would honour administrative assistance requests, if the requesting country identifies the taxpayer, “although this identification can ensue in a way other than by indicating the name and address”. The requesting country would also need to indicate the name and address of the alleged holder of the information, such as banks, if such information is known to it.

In the case of missing data on the information holder, Switzerland will provide administrative assistance if “requests are in line with the principles of proportionality and practicability in accordance with internationally applicable standards”.

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  1. K
    kiran
    May 23, 2015 at 6:34 pm
    It is right for keeping black money safe so I Want to keep a construction company I want you to help you all so I am telling that give off money to me I want be namy to your all money next one thing I have a plan to do black to white.
    Reply
    1. P
      Positive
      Oct 29, 2014 at 9:22 am
      Chup be idris kahike..
      Reply
      1. P
        Positive
        Oct 29, 2014 at 9:22 am
        Chup be idris kahike..
        Reply
        1. A
          Amrit Patel
          Oct 23, 2014 at 7:14 pm
          Reply
          1. A
            Abhishek
            Jun 25, 2014 at 9:51 am
            False news. Swiss government has denied making any such list. Says modi government has not contacted them at all till now, for chasing after black money
            Reply
            1. A
              adag
              Jun 23, 2014 at 6:22 am
              the Government need to make only one announcement. All Indians who are travelling to Switzerland will undergo compulsory Income Tax scrutiny. This will force Swiss authorities to co-operate with Indian government as they will lose thousands of Indian tourists. We need to twist their arms to get the information.
              Reply
              1. A
                Anjali Pandey
                Jun 23, 2014 at 2:21 am
                This is really an appreciative move from government. Atleast now there would some sense of fear in people who does corruption and it will definitely diminish this evil if not vanish.
                Reply
                1. S
                  S.Gonesh
                  Jun 22, 2014 at 5:14 pm
                  Publish the names in full and confiscate them all.
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    Dipak
                    Jun 23, 2014 at 2:15 am
                    Rs. 14,000 crores is just peanuts. Swiss banks are lying. Do not believe them. Besides they don't consider Italian Maid as Indian.
                    Reply
                    1. G
                      guptadkj
                      Jun 23, 2014 at 6:08 am
                      Absolutely right sir,actually the Swiss Bank Secrecy clause was intended to protect the money of the Jews that Hitler was trying to confiscate. Switzerland may be racist and extremely xenophobic,but it remains a very honest country by and large.
                      Reply
                      1. G
                        guptadkj
                        Jun 23, 2014 at 6:09 am
                        I hope the people of Bengal will vote more wisely the next time they get a chance,they have been voting left or didi,both are two sides of the same rotten coin.
                        Reply
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                          guptadkj
                          Jun 23, 2014 at 6:10 am
                          Since the money is obviously stolen from the desperately poor people of India,it is only fair that we are told the names of the thieves.
                          Reply
                          1. H
                            Harsh
                            Aug 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm
                            Abhishek if you are rightThen the web side should be closed or BANG for wrong information.......
                            Reply
                            1. H
                              Harsh
                              Aug 1, 2014 at 2:09 pm
                              If these web site is telling truth Modi and his team has to take an stick action.if not how can we say Modi is better sarakar then the previous one..............
                              Reply
                              1. I
                                idris
                                Oct 8, 2014 at 9:44 am
                                if modi requests for the blackmoney lists or the blackmoney back, even modi will be in trouble because even he has blackmoney.
                                Reply
                                1. J
                                  Jay
                                  Jun 23, 2014 at 8:40 am
                                  Good move but make it transparent and no censor one part which has ambanis and adanis accounts.
                                  Reply
                                  1. H
                                    Happy
                                    Jun 22, 2014 at 11:46 am
                                    Government should also ask Swiss to give info on the money transferred out from Swiss bank with date and place where it transferred out within last 10 years. I suspect lots of Congress man and Sonia family moved money out from Swiss in last 10 years to different places.
                                    Reply
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                                      Pradip Bhattacharya
                                      Jun 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm
                                      Modi does what he says. He has been sent by God to save India from the loot and destruction by one family. Acha din anwale hain.
                                      Reply
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                                        natarajan
                                        Jun 23, 2014 at 4:04 am
                                        Not sure how trust worthy the list Swiss Govt will give? Few selected ones will be reveled????
                                        Reply
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                                          naidu kare
                                          Jun 22, 2014 at 12:40 pm
                                          Surprising that a swiss official who is not authorized to speak to media is speaking. How trustworthy is this news? Has he been bribed by the indian channels......?????? Swiss government beware... we are capable of bribing
                                          Reply
                                          1. R
                                            Rohit Khurana
                                            Jun 22, 2014 at 1:12 pm
                                            The Indian govt should declare the names of such traitors ! Why hide them? Why such a curtain on their misdeeds ? Why the Swiss wants such rules so that the cheats may continue to have heavens ?
                                            Reply
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