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Blackmoney: Customs intelligence officers to be posted abroad

The Finance Ministry has formed a panel of eligible candidates drawn from Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise). The ministry will be conducting an interview this month to shortlist officers from them, official sources said.

The selected persons will be posted in Customs Overseas Intelligence Network (COIN) units and help in checking blackmoney, especially through fraudulent trade transactions, they said.
The decision assumes significance amid demands of intensifying efforts from the government to check blackmoney.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, lead agency to check customs frauds, has detected various cases of trade-based money laundering in the recent past, the sources said.

At present, there are nine COIN officers posted in Dubai, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, London, New York, Moscow, Singapore and Brussels.

Besides, a proposal for creation of seven COIN units is pending with the External Affairs Ministry. Of these, three COIN units have been proposed at Colombo (Sri Lanka), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Bangkok (Thailand) with a clear focus on fake Indian currency notes smuggling, they said.

Four such snoop units have been proposed at Beijing, Guangzhou (both China), Brasilia (Brazil) and Pretoria (South Africa), the sources said.

Indian customs authorities have been getting results from COIN officers in New York, London, Hong Kong and Moscow, they said. A Finance Ministry report on blackmoney has recommended to expand and strengthen the scope and reach of COIN offices to check suspicious trade transactions.
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