HSBC whistleblower Falciani making 'wrong hue and cry': India

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New Delhi, Nov 3: Rejecting HSBC whistleblower Herve Falciani's accusation that Indian authorities are sitting on black money information, India today said he is raising a "wrong hue and cry" and asserted that details on illicit funds should be shared without any pre-condition.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley emphasised that the government would "take action" on the illicit fund menace and said government offered a reward in exchange for information to Falciani.

'Falciani making wrong hue and cry'

The Chairman of Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money, MB Shah, said that India is prepared to extend full cooperation to Falciani and other whistleblowers in its fight against the black money menace.

Shah said it was a "wrong information" that Falciani had put across to the journalists here yesterday that Indian authorities are not cooperating with him.

"He is not giving reply. He has created a wrong hue and cry. We want to tell him that please give it (information) to SIT or to the government or to a journalist. Please, you (Falciani) share it in the interest of the country," Shah told PTI.

A former HSBC bank employee turned whistleblower, Falciani, yesterday said a "lot of information" on illicit funds is lying unused by the Indian authorities adding that he was willing to "cooperate" with the investigative agencies in their black money probe but would need "protection".

He is facing charges in Switzerland of leaking details of bank account holders in Geneva branch of HSBC -- a list which later reached French government and subsequently was shared with India as it had accounts of those Indians who had stashed funds abroad.

These details are also being looked into by the SIT, which was set up by government as per Supreme Court orders. The government meanwhile today released part of the third report submitted by the SIT in which it has asked law enforcement agencies, including the tax department and the Enforcement Directorate, to be more vigilant especially with regard to companies with same addresses.

"Government of India is making all efforts to bring the details (of black money accounts). The number of prosecutions that we launched in last one year were not done earlier," Jaitley said.

"Whoever has whatever details, he or she should give it to us instead of putting any pre-conditions," he told reporters in response to questions on Falciani's remarks.

Jaitley also said the government's representative has already met Falciani and offered a reward in exchange for information.


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