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Scramble to Verify Swiss Leaks Accounts

Finance Minister says information in more than 600 cases has been sought from foreign jurisdictions; govt also in touch with whistleblower

Published: 10th February 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th February 2015 07:25 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The black money probe of those who have parked ill-gotten wealth abroad took a fresh turn on Monday post the revelations made by the Indian Express newspaper.

The new list includes prominent Indian industrialists, including Ambani brothers Mukesh and Anil, NRI businessman Naresh Goyal and politician Narayan Rane, all of whom have denied holding any illegal bank accounts abroad.

The new list has the names of 1,195 Indians — nearly double the 628 names that figured in an earlier list that was shared by the French government with India in 2011 — and the total estimated wealth that has been stashed abroad by these Indians could amount to upwards of `25,000 crore.

Scramble.JPG“Some new names have been revealed, whose veracity will be checked by authorities,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters as the government said that information in more than 600 cases has been sought from foreign jurisdictions based on credible information of foreign accounts.

The Finance Minister also said that the government is in touch with the whistle blower and has requested him to reveal the entire list so that the government could expand the scope of its investigations.

The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Monday discussed the fresh list and felt that there could be 100 new names in it.

“We will consider all new cases where there is evidence of black money... We will complete the probe in all cases which are getting time barred by March 31,” SIT vice chairman Arijit Pasayat.

The Enforcement Directorate and Central Board of Direct Taxes have been asked to gather information on the new list and inform SIT at the earliest, Pasayat said.

The government has launched prosecution against as many as 60 illegal overseas bank account holders, while penalty proceedings against 350 other account holders have been initiated, Jaitley said. He added that the revenue department is in touch with informants for more names. 

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