Indians have $500b stashed in tax havens


Rich Indians have stashed away almost $500 billion of illicit money abroad, parking the funds in countries considered the “least corrupt”, the country’s top police agency said on Monday. The issue of so-called “black money” has been a major political headache for India’s government, which has faced pressure from corruption activists and political opponents to do more to claw back money held abroad. “It is estimated that around $500 billion of illegal money belonging to Indians is deposited in tax havens abroad,” A.P. Singh, director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), told an Interpol conference in New Delhi. Singh said the countries rated as least corrupt by Transparency International, a global anti-graft watchdog, turned out to be the ones where “most of the corrupt money goes”. “The tax havens include New Zealand, which is ranked as the least corrupt country, Singapore ranked number five and Switzerland number seven,” he said, according to the Press Trust of India. The CBI chief said that international agreements and other legal hurdles prevented the Indian government from exposing the identity of the tax evaders and bringing the wealth back to the country.