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Monday 9 December 2019
India Crime Swiss banks hand over information of Indian account holders

Swiss banks hand over information of Indian account holders

Data from Swiss banks can prove to be very helpful in preparing a concrete case against those having undisclosed assets in these accounts

New Delhi: India has received the first tranche of information related to the accounts of Indians holding undeclared money in Swiss banks. Switzerland has made some information available to India for the first time this month under the automatic information exchange framework.

Preparations are underway to analyse the first tranche of information received from India. It is estimated that sufficient material will be available to determine the identity of the account holders. Officials of banks and regulatory bodies said that this information is linked to accounts that people have already closed for fear of action.

A bank official said that on the instructions of the Swiss government, the banks there collected data and handed over to India. In it, full details of transactions have been given for every account, which has been active on a single day in 2018. He said that this data can prove to be very helpful in preparing a concrete case against those having undisclosed assets in these accounts. In it, complete information about the income received from deposits, transfers and investments in securities and other asset categories.

Swiss accounts related to NRI businessmen

Many bank officials and regulatory officials requested the media to keep the names confidential, saying that this information related mainly to businessmen including non-resident Indians residing in several south-east Asian countries, the US, Britain, some African countries and South American countries.

Bank officials admitted that, after a massive campaign started against Swiss bank accounts that were once completely confidential, huge amounts were withdrawn from these accounts and many accounts were closed in the last few years. The information shared includes also such accounts that were closed in 2018.

Details of 100 closed accounts

There are also at least 100 such old accounts of Indians that were closed before 2018. Switzerland is in the process of sharing information on these accounts as soon as possible. These accounts are related to people involved in the businesses of auto components, chemicals, textiles, real estate, diamond, jewellery, steel, etc.

Regulatory officials said that in the analysis of information received from Swiss banks, special attention was being paid to the information related to people having political contacts.

Special focus on accounts with political connections

Officials said there is a special focus on specifying Swiss bank data to identify people with political connections. The Swiss delegation visited India last year before being briefed under the automated regime. Requests for seeking tax-related information between India and Switzerland were considered for early action and a possible process of sharing information.

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