Indians have over $500 billion in banks abroad: CBI

“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,” CBI director AP Singh said at the inauguration of first Interpol global programme on anti-corruption and asset recovery

New Delhi: Indians are the largest depositors in banks abroad with an estimated $500 billion (nearly Rs24.5 lakh crore) of illegal money stashed by them in tax havens, reports PTI quoting Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director AP Singh.

India, in particular, has suffered from the flow of illegal funds to tax havens such as Mauritius, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, British Virgin Islands, etc.

“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,” CBI director AP Singh said speaking at the inauguration of first Interpol global programme on anti-corruption and asset recovery.

He said getting information about such illegal transactions is a time taking process as investigators have to peel each layer by sending judicial requests to the country where such deposits have been made.

“53% 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,” Mr Singh said.

He said there is a lack of political will in the leading tax haven states to part with the information because they are aware of the extent to which their economies have become “geared to this flow of illegal capitals from the poorer countries.”

The CBI director said tracing, freezing, confiscation and repatriation of stolen assets is a legal challenge, a complex process which requires expertise and political will.

“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,” Mr Singh said.

He said global financial markets allow money to travel faster and further making tracking the money trail in such cases even more difficult which necessitates the organisation of such global training programs as they enhance the knowledge of investigators in tracking assets created out of corrupt and criminal acts.

Mr Singh said criminals are using the territorial issues of investigating agencies to their advantage by spreading their crimes to at least two countries and investing in a third.

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

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

He said the World Bank estimates the cross-border flow of money from criminal activities and tax evasion is around $1.5 trillion of which $40 billion is bribe paid to government servants in developing countries.

Mr Singh quoted the report to say that only $5 billion of this money has been repatriated during 15 years.

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COMMENTS

NMBrahmbhatt

5 years ago

All concerned parties including Gvts and law agencies seem to be helpless and throwing up their hands in despair, some conveniently and others helplessly. Why not persuade the United Nations to take up the matter seriously and more aggressively? While we do not have the muscle and political will that US has, we can at least learn from them. This is a cancer common to all mankind but the most affected parts are in the third world. Thank God, at least media is waking up.

India emerges as the world’s most optimistic market

According to the latest global consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, India remained the world's most optimistic market for the eighth consecutive quarter

India has once again emerged as the most optimistic market, driven by its buoyant domestic consumption levels, but slowing growth and inflationary concerns could put pressure on consumer confidence for the year ahead, says a survey.

According to the latest global consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, a provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, India remained the world's most optimistic market for the eighth consecutive quarter with a one point consumer confidence index increase to 122.

India was followed by Indonesia and the Philippines at 117 in the list. Venkatesh Bala, Chief Economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen said, "Buoyant domestic consumption also maintained confidence levels in the large emerging economies of India, Indonesia and Brazil. However, slowing GDP growth within emerging economies and inflationary pressures would suggest some degree of caution for the year ahead."

Elaborating further, Nielsen India managing director Justin Sargent said, "The stabilisation of India's consumer confidence metric is encouraging and the retention of the top spot globally reminds us of the inherent strength of the Indian economy, the savings mindset of the Indian consumer, and the positivity of consumer sentiment which has likely been helped by the recent cooling of inflationary pressure."

Meanwhile, the global consumer confidence increased in the December quarter led by the world's two largest economies - the US and China, but deteriorated in the euro zone countries.

Global consumer confidence increased one index point to 89, even as confidence levels in 24 out of 27 European markets witnessed a decline.

"While Europe's challenging economic conditions in the second half of 2011 bought renewed vulnerability and fragility to consumers and financial markets globally, some of the most positive news last quarter came from the world's two largest economies - the US and China - where confidence rebounded to Q1 2011 levels," Bala added.

Confidence levels declined in 35 out of 56 markets, while confidence rose in 12 markets and remained flat in nine, but shoppers are still cautious, the survey, conducted between November 23 and December 9, 2011, said.

Hungary was the world's most pessimistic market at 30 index points, followed by Portugal (36) and Greece (41), where quarterly confidence levels fell seven, four and 10 points, respectively.

"European markets accounted for nine of the 10 most depressed markets last quarter," the report said.

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SBI consolidated net rises 16.3% to Rs4,318 crore in December quarter

SBI’s standalone net profit went up by 15.3% to Rs3,263.04 crore in the third quarter, from Rs2,828.06 crore in the same quarter of 2010-11

SBI’s standalone net profit went up by 15.3% to Rs3,263.04 crore in the third quarter, from Rs2,828.06 crore in the same quarter of 2010-11

Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday reported 16.3% increase in consolidated net profit at Rs4,318.08 crore for the third quarter ended 31 December 2011 compared to Rs3,710.48 crore in the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal, reports PTI.

The total income of SBI (Consolidated) stood at Rs43,155.95 crore during the quarter under review, up 16.7% over the figure of Rs 36,966.87 crore in the year-ago period, it said in a filing to the BSE.

SBI’s standalone net profit went up by 15.3% to Rs3,263.04 crore in the third quarter, from Rs2,828.06 crore in the same quarter of 2010-11.

Standalone total income rose by 20.4% to Rs 29,787.37 crore in the quarter ended 31 December 2011 compared to Rs24,726.73 crore in the same quarter of the last fiscal.

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