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India to approach Australia on global black money expose

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

India will approach Australia to get details on financial transactions by some among the 600 entities and individuals of Indian origin, named in a global black money expose, who might have stashed money there.

The move is based on the claim by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a US based group of about 160 journalists, to have possessed secret records of 2.5 lakh individuals and entities from more than 170 countries relating to black money.

Following the ICIJ claim early this year, the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB)-- mandated to gather and disseminate intelligence on financial offences-- has forwarded to other Indian agencies a list containing over 600 names and addresses of individuals or entities of Indian origin suspected of stashing funds abroad in tax havens, official sources said.

The list was sent to Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) for cross verification and necessary action, they said.

After due diligence, investigating authorities here have confirmed certain cases which indicate involvement of individuals and entities of Indian origin in illegal parking of money. The modus operandi was suspected to be happening with the connivance of accountants and middlemen, the sources said.

"A formal communication will be sent to Australia to get information. The CBDT will invoke Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) or Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) to obtain the information from other countries as well," sources said.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram had in April said that an inquiry has been initiated against individuals whose names appeared in the global report on the monies stashed in tax heaven.

"Yes. We have taken note of the names and inquiries have been put in motion in respect of the names that have been exposed," he had said.

ICIJ had uploaded information on its website -- www.Icij.Org -- containing particulars of certain entities including trusts, fund companies created in offshore locations such as British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands etc among others.

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First Published: Thu, October 31 2013. 17:39 IST