Now CBI Director confirms what we all knew – that money amounting to billions is stashed in the Swiss Banks. And Indians are the largest depositors in the Swiss banks.
“It is estimated that around 500 billion dollars of illegal money belonging to Indians is deposited in tax havens abroad. Largest depositors in Swiss Banks are also reported to be Indians,” CBI director A P Singh said speaking at the inauguration of first interpol global programme on anti-corruption and asset recovery.
He further added an interesting bit of information – which many miss out on – that the least corrupt countries are the biggest tax havens!
“53 per cent of the countries said to be least corrupt by the Transparency International Index are offshore tax havens, where most of the corrupt money goes. The tax havens include New Zealand which is ranked as the least corrupt country, Singapore ranked number five and Switzerland number seven,” Singh said.
Quite obviously this statement from the CBI Director took the Government by shock – so the ministers went into an overdrive to repackage the message:
“I have spoken to the CBI director and he told me that he made the statement on the basis of a report prepared by a Supreme Court-appointed committee,” minister of state for personnel V Narayanasamy said after inaugurating the Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System for speedy disposal of complaints.
As if Supreme Court committee saying that is better than CBI talking about the figures! And, even if he did mention those figures, he must have reason to believe them to be true to lend his name to those figures in public. Why would someone like the CBI Director just say something he learnt as hearsay which has such a damning implication for the Government, unless he is certain about the fact?
Nevertheless, the minister is probably not apologetic about the figures, just that he didn’t want to lend the legitimacy of the main Intelligence agency in the country!