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Indians are largest depositors of black money, claims CBI

New Delhi , Tue, 14 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 14 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has claimed that Indians are the largest depositors of illegal money in banks abroad amounting to an estimated 500 billion US dollars.


CBI Director A.P. Singh, while speaking at the inauguration of first Interpol global programme on anti-corruption and asset recovery, on Monday said: "It is estimated that around $500 billion of illegal money belonging to Indians is deposited in tax havens abroad. Largest depositors in Swiss Banks are also reported to be Indians."


The CBI Director said the probe by the investigating agency into the recent scandals have been pointing to transfer of large amounts of money to tax havens.


"In some of the recent important cases being investigated by CBI, such as 2G, CWG and Madhu Koda cases, we find that money is taken to Dubai, Singapore, Mauritius, from where it goes to Switzerland and other such tax havens," said Singh.


"For criminals, all it involves is setting up of a few shell companies and then making layered transfers from account to another in a matter of hours as there are no boundaries in banking transactions," he added.


Singh said accessing information about illegal transactions was a time-consuming process.


"53 percent of the countries said to be least corrupt by the Transparency International Index are offshore tax havens, where most of the corrupt money goes. The tax havens include New Zealand which is ranked as the least corrupt country, Singapore ranked number five and Switzerland number seven," he said.


Singh further said managing the asset recovery investigation is complex, time-consuming, costly and most importantly requires expertise and political will


" There are many obstacles to asset recovery. Not only is it a specialised legal process filled with delays and uncertainty, but there are also language barriers and a lack of trust when working with other countries," he said. (ANI)


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