Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Hindu: Bringing Back What's Ours

Our friend Arun Kumar from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi has a lead article in today's edition of The Hindu. He focuses on illicit financial flows out of India and calls for the government to be more active in investigating these flows:

Government agencies have to be proactive in ferreting out the names of those who may hold bank accounts abroad.

Statements by top government functionaries are usually expected to lead to clarity. However, the statement by the Central Bureau of Investigation Director on illegal money stashed abroad by Indians at the inauguration of the first Interpol Global Programme on Anti-Corruption and Asset Recovery last month has added confusion to a politically sensitive subject.

The Director made three points. First, Indians hold an estimated $500 billion of illegal money abroad. Second, Indians are the largest depositors in banks abroad. Lastly, shell companies are set up, and layered transfers made from one account to another. Funds may be transferred within hours from Singapore to Switzerland to Cayman Islands in a matter of hours as there are no boundaries in banking transactions. The Swiss have reacted to the last point by asking for evidence but there has been no official response to this query.

You can read the entire article here.


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