Black money: 18 Indians on Liechtenstein List

Jun 9, 2011

An ex-employee of LGT (above) gave details to German officials The list of Indians with accounts in LGT Bank, in European tax haven Liechtenstein, that is now with the government shows that 18 individuals collectively put away Rs 39.66 crore during 2002-04 in trusts with the bank.

These individuals include businessmen in Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai and members of their families. Their total tax penalty has been estimated at Rs 24.27 crore and recoveries have already begun from 17 of the 18 named.

The list, accessed by The Indian Express, is now with the Enforcement Directorate. A copy has to be sent to the CBI as the Supreme Court has said that either the National Intelligence Agency or the CBI should go after sources of these deposits rather than just rely on the Income-Tax Department for unearthing alleged income concealment and tax evasion.

The agencies have to probe whether these LGT deposits were involved with any alleged money laundering or whether the money parked abroad is proceeds from terrorist activities, drug peddling, smuggling, arms deals or activities against national security.

The Income-Tax Department has launched prosecution against 17 of these 18 between end-March and early May this year, said sources.

In February, Tehelka magazine published eight of these names but did not mention the income assessed or taxes due.

This list first surfaced in 2008 when a former LGT employee gave details of 1400 account holders to German tax authorities who launched a probe. Of these account holders, 26 were Indian-named and Germany passed their details to India. A subsequent investigation showed that five were non-resident Indians and could not be covered for prosecution. Of the remaining 21, prosecution could be launched only against 18, sources said.