Millennium Post

SIT writes to ICIJ for data on Indian a/cs

SIT writes to ICIJ for data on Indian a/cs
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has approached ICIJ -- a global collective of investigative journalists -- to obtain the full data on Indians holding bank accounts in HSBC Geneva, which the group made public earlier this week under its 'Swiss Leaks' revelations.

Sources said that the SIT has sent its communication to the organisation at its address in the US requesting full details about the Indian names -- their bank account numbers and addresses -- as "published" and "obtained" by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

They said the information is required with the government and the SIT chiefs Justice MB Shah and Justice Arijit Pasayat having made it clear that all names and accounts will be probed after the contents of the new list made waves following their publication a few days back in a national daily.

Sources said that once the data is received, preferably before March 31, investigations will be launched to ascertain their financial antecedents and action under Income Tax laws would be initiated against those who are found to be evading taxes or hiding black money.

Details of more than 1,00,000 account holders around the world, including over 1,000 from India, have been revealed through a joint investigation by the ICIJ.

The entire HSBC list features names of 1,668 Indians while the number of actionable cases stands at 1,195 after taking into account duplication and other factors.

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

In the list published recently, there are 2,699 accounts linked to 1,688 Indians. Of these, 1,403 accounts were opened between 1969 and 2006 while the maximum amount of money associated with a client connected to India was USD 876.3 million.

Earlier, India had received from France a list of over 628 Indians with account in HSBC's Geneva branch in Switzerland.

That list was also part of the larger 'HSBC list', which a former bank employee had "secreted away" and handed to the French government.

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