Switzerland issued Notices to 11 Indians In Process To Share Banking Details: As Switzerland strives hard to re-establish its global financial centre position after clamping down on secrecy walls of its banks, there has been a significant surge in the number of cases where it has initiated process to share information on Indians with Swiss bank accounts and shot off letters to about a dozen such individuals last week itself.
Switzerland steps up process to share banking info; 11 Indians get notices in a day
At least 25 notices have been issued so far since March by the Swiss authorities to Indian clients of Switzerland-based banks in which they have been given one last chance to appeal against sharing of their details with India.
An analysis of the notices issued by the Federal Tax Administration, Switzerland government’s nodal department for sharing of information on foreign clients of Swiss banks, shows that while the Swiss government has stepped up its efforts in sharing such details with a number of countries in the recent months, but the surge in India-related cases is noticeable in the past few weeks.
On May 21, at least 11 such notices were issued to Indian nationals, though the gazette notifications of the Swiss government has redacted full names for several of them while making public only their initials besides the nationality and the dates of birth.
The two Indians whose full names have been mentioned are Krishna Bhagwan Ramchand (born in May 1949) and Kalpesh Harshad Kinariwala (born in September 1972). However, no further details have been disclosed about them as well.
The Indian nationals with redacted names include Mrs A S B K (born November 24, 1944), Mr A B K I (born July 9, 1944), Mrs P A S (born November 2, 1983), Mrs R A S (born November 22, 1973), Mr A P S (born November 27, 1944), Mrs A D S (born August 14, 1949), Mr M L A (born May 20, 1935), Mr N M A (born February 21, 1968) and Mr M M A (June 27, 1973).
In these notices, the individuals or their authorised representatives have been asked to file their appeals, if any, within 30 days with necessary documentary proof to support their case against providing ‘administrative assistance’ to India, which broadly means sharing of their banking and other financial details.
A similar notice was issued to many Indian nationals in the month of April and May. Several of these names are said to have figured in the leaked HSBC lists and Panama papers which allegedly contained names of Indians with Swiss bank accounts and are being probed by Indian authorities in alleged black money cases.
In case of Krishna Bhagwan Ramchand and Kalpesh Harshad Kinariwala, such notices were issued in April as well and fresh notices have been served to them presumably after their responses to the earlier notices.
Along with several other countries, India has also been making use of this change in the stance of Switzerland by seeking details of suspected black money hoarders in Swiss banks and it has already got back information in a large number of cases in the last few years.
While Switzerland has always denied being a safe haven for black money, it has begun sharing details for last few years with several countries including India after submission of evidence about financial and tax-related wrongdoings of the clients of Swiss banks. Besides, a new framework of automatic information exchange has been now put in place and the details can be accessed under the new system from this year.