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Swiss Leaks: 1195 Swiss Bank Accounts Amass Rs. 25 Thousand Crore
Feb 13, 2015

With a fresh list of black-money holders abroad, the Indian government said it will probe all the new cases and take the assistance of a whistleblower to get all the names of Indians with HSBC accounts in Switzerland and other places, even as the SIT decided to widen its probe.

A report published in The Indian Express indicated 1195 Indian names in the fresh HSBC list, which are nearly double the 628 names that figured in an earlier list that was shared by the French government with India in 2011. The government said that out of the 628 Indians, 200 were either non-residents or non-traceable, leaving 428 cases of residents which were found actionable. The net amount of peak balance for these 428 cases was about Rs 4,500 crore.

In the fresh list details of more than 1,00,000 account holders around the world, including over 1000 from India, have been revealed through a joint investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

  • The entire HSBC list has 1668 Indians, while the number of actionable cases stands at 1195 after taking into account duplication and some other factors.

  • Collectively, these accounts had a balance of 4.1 billion dollar (Rs. 25,420 crore) till 2007.

  • In this fresh list, there are 2699 accounts linked to 1688 Indians. Out of these, 1403 accounts were opened between 1969 and 2006.

  • The maximum amount of money associated with a client connected to India was 876.3 million dollar.

  • Among Indian names, 51 per cent have an Indian passport or nationality, while the remaining accounts were either linked to offshore companies, or were 'numbered' accounts.

  • Some new names have been revealed whose veracity would be checked by authorities.

  • Government said that information in more than 600 cases has been sought from foreign jurisdictions based credible information of undisclosed foreign accounts.  Mere names would be of no use, unless accompanied by independent evidence.

  • The income tax department is in touch with the whistle blower who apparently brought out the names of persons holding undisclosed bank accounts in HSBC, Switzerland. He has been requested to share information available with him in regard to undisclosed bank accounts of Indians in HSBC, Switzerland and other destinations.

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

  • The scope of investigation SIT will be widened due to the new names. SIT will identify those names and scrutinize them.

  • The ED and CBDT have been asked to gather information on the new list and inform SIT at the earliest.

Switzerland, long known as a place with unbreakable banking secrecy, has come under intense global pressure, including from India, to crack down on illicit fund flows. Armed with information received about its citizens holding secret accounts in Swiss banks, India has been seeking details from Switzerland, but most of these requests were being turned on the ground of those being based on stolen data. Consequently, India has now changed its strategy and has decided to seek details on the basis of additional evidence collected by it on suspected cases of black money stashed in Swiss banks.


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