Voices Tuesday, April 07, 2015 - 05:30
Chitra Subramaniam | The News Minute | June 2, 2014 | 4.30 pm IST Geneva: Names of Indians involved in tax-evasion or tax-fraud were handed over to the Indian government a few weeks ago, a spokesman for the Federal Finance Ministry said today. “We have given some names to the Indian authorities recently – these are other names than the ones stolen from the HSBC,” Mario Tuor, spokesperson for the ministry told The News Minute. He did not comment on the number of names now available with Indian authorities. “We are aware of the newly constituted SIT and we look forward to cooperating with them within the purview of Swiss laws,” Tuor said. It may be recalled that there was a furore in India recently about names of Indians with accounts in HSBC, Geneva and it was assumed that presenting the same names to Swiss authorities would result in action. In recent years employees of banks have decamped with names of account holders who defraud their countries. Some of this information has been sold while others have worked with governments to further the enquiry. While the Swiss cannot be expected to add to or subtract from stolen information, sources say there is nothing preventing a sovereign government from acting on information it may have received in an unorthodox way. Financial intelligence gathering speaks to an array of means and whistle blowers and informants are part of the process. Anonymous leaks have also played a role. How governments work with the information available with them in these matters – from tax evasion to tax-frauds, money laundering, drug and gun running - is often more important than how the information was secured.

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