India not keen on black money: Swiss govt

via published on May 11, 2009

New Delhi: The Swiss Justice Department on Friday said that the Government of India was dragging its feet on the black money issue.

In a Headlines Today exclusive, the department also said the Indian government had submitted forged documents to Swiss authorities in the $ 8-billion Hassan Ali money laundering case in January 2007. Stud farm owner Hassan Ali had illegally transferred $ 6 billion to UBS accounts and came under the Enforcement Directorate”s radar.

Swiss government spokesman Folco Galli told Headlines Today that the Indian government was informed about the fake documents by Swiss authorities in January 2007 itself. Further, the Swiss claimed to have submitted certain queries to the Indian government in April 2007 but New Delhi has not bothered to file a reply even 24 months later.

Since the black money issue became a major election plank for the Lok Sabha polls, the Centre claimed in the Supreme Court that it has been doing what it can to bring back the black money stashed in Swiss banks. The Centre’s affidavit in the SC however fails to mention that the Swiss have questioned the authenticity of the documents.

In fact, the Swiss spokesman’s answer seems to suggest there has been little or no action from the government’s side for the last two years in seriously pursuing the probe against Hassan Ali Khan.

The last sentence in the response of the Swiss is telling. Galli says, “India makes only few requests per year to Switzerland for legal aid in tracking down black money.”

Given the black economy is considered much bigger than the Indian economy, the UPA government has a lot to answer for.

The Centre has been claiming that Swiss domestic laws don’t allow them to access their bank accounts.

Courtesy India Today

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