Black money SIT holds meet; reviews Panama Papers, foreign stash cases

New Delhi, Apr 26: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money today held a meeting and reviewed some important tax evasion and money laundering probe cases like the recent 'Panama Papers' disclosures and those related to bank frauds.

Officials said the meeting here chaired by SIT Chairman Justice (retd) MB Shah also reviewed the reports submitted to it by the Income Tax department, FIU and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the 'Panama Papers' list case in which at least 500 Indian names have been published.

Black money SIT holds meet; reviews Panama Papers, foreign stash cases

The full-fledged meeting of the multiple agencies working in the panel took place after a long gap.

The participating agencies also submitted a record and status of their important probes following which it was decided to initiate "prompt" action in cases like Panama, the Bank of Baroda (Delhi branch) case of alleged illegal remittances and those related to trade based money laundering and tax evasion through offshore locations and shell companies.

The SIT, in the wake of the Panama list, had earlier asked agencies like the IT department, ED and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to investigate and gather intelligence inputs about the disclosures made in this regard by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and a national daily.

"Apart from investigating the tax evasion and money laundering angle in the Panama Papers case, the agencies have also been asked to ascertain the volume of total funds held by the said about 500 Indians on the list made public recently," the officials said.

A multi-agency group of these departments is already looking into this case. The SIT also reviewed the cases being jointly probed by agencies like the Rs 6,000 crore Bank of Baroda illegal remittances case and few others, under scanner by both the CBI and ED.

During the meeting, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) also informed the panel about the assistance it has rendered to investigative and enforcement agencies in taking their respective probes forward. A new format developed by the elite snoop wing, under the Union Finance Ministry, to collect and disseminate classified data was also shared with the SIT, the officials said.

The panel also was briefed about the progress in IT department cases against overseas black money holders like in the HSBC and few others. The SIT was notified by the central government in May 2014 on the directions of the Supreme Court and has submitted at least four reports to the apex court in this context till now.

Headed by Justice (retd) Shah, Justice (retd) Arijit Pasayat is its Vice Chairman with eleven agencies working under it.


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