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SIT traces Rs 4,479 cr in Swiss banks

In the first major disclosure on unaccounted money, 339 Indians were found to have stashed Rs 4,479 crore in Swiss banks, while domestic unaccounted wealth to the tune of Rs 14,958 crore was traced, even as the Special Investigation Team (SIT) recommended stringent measures to check the menace.

The Supreme Court-constituted SIT recommended amendments to laws to provide for confiscation of domestic properties of those with illicit assets abroad and making tax evasion of over Rs 50 lakh a “predicate offence” or a serious crime to facilitate necessary action under the prevention of money laundering Act.

The 13 recommendations made by SIT also included imposing a threshold of Rs 10-15 lakh on holding and transporting cash to check the black money menace.

After probing into a list of 628 Indians, who figured on a list of account holders in HSBC’s Geneva branch that India got from the French government, SIT said prosecution had begun against 79 entities.

Of these, no balance was found in case of 289 accounts, according to a report of SIT submitted to the court, portions of which were released by government on Friday.

“Of the 628 persons, 201 were either non-residents or non-traceable, leaving 427 persons cases as actionable cases,” an official statement said.

While the total amount involved in these cases is about Rs 4,479 crore, the income-tax department has finalised assessment for 79 entities involving 339 cases.

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