India will launch an inquiry into the new names that have appeared in the latest list of Indian nationals who hold accounts with HSBC Holding Plc.’s private banking arm in Switzerland, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Monday.
According to a report that was released globally by the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, over 1,000 Indians had parked more than $4 billion in HSBC accounts, which were possibly untaxed. Names of several prominent businessmen and politicians reportedly figure in the latest list.
An Indian Special Investigation Team, formed in June, is already on the trail of such untaxed money stashed abroad -- called "black money" -- and is set to submit its first report by March 31. Details of several names mentioned in Monday’s list are already with the Indian government, the finance minister said.
“Penalty proceedings against 350 other account holders have been initiated,” Jaitley said, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI). “Let me clarify in the first round these names which were of HSBC Bank, all these names were not of (all) Swiss banks but of one bank HSBC ... In that connection the government of India and the revenue department they did some communications at that time (4-5 years ago). These were details of 628 accounts,” he told PTI.
India’s finance department has already launched 60 prosecutions in the case of illegal funds parked in tax havens like the British Virgin Islands, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. However, this is not the first time that names of Indians on such a list have become public. In 2011, a list containing the names of 18 Indians who had parked money in Liechtenstein became public, and the case is now before the country’s Supreme Court.