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Disclose names of Swiss bank account holders: CPI

Last updated on: January 21, 2011 08:49 IST

Disclose names of Swiss bank account holders: CPI

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With a Swiss bank staffer handing over details of 2,000 secret Swiss bank accounts to whistle-blowing site Wikileaks, CPI demanded that names of Indian account holders be disclosed and their funds confiscated.

"What is the secrecy about black money? Why are they not revealing the names? Why are they keeping them (names) under sealed cover? We want to know who they are," party General Secretary A B Bardhan said.

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Image: CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan.

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Disclose names of Swiss bank account holders: CPI

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He said those who had kept money stashed in Swiss bank accounts had done so to evade taxes. "They are tax evaders. They have committed a crime. The fund should be confiscated."

Bardhan's statement came days after a former banker, Rudolf Elmer, handed over secret data about 2,000 Swiss bank account holders to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claiming he wanted the world to know the truth about money concealed in offshore accounts, how they evaded taxes and the systems in place to keep all this secret.

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Image: Dollar notes.
Photographs: Reuters
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Disclose names of Swiss bank account holders: CPI

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According to the former banker, the clients' listed on two compact discs include about 40 politicians, multinational companies and financial institutions from the United States, Europe and Asia.

A Swiss court found Elmer guilty of seeking to blackmail the bank where he was working, making threats and violating banking secrecy laws and handed down a suspended fine.

Assange, who received two discs containing the documents, said he would make them public in the future.

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Image: Swiss bank UBS.
Photographs: Reuters.
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No cover-up in naming Swiss bank a/c holders: Antony

Defence Minister A K Antony said there will be "no cover-up" in disclosing names of people who have Swiss bank accounts as the government is committed to bring back all the money stashed abroad.

"Our government is committed to bring all that money and find out the truth...We are determined to find out the truth. That effort is on and we will not cover-up anything," he said.

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Image: Defence Minister A K Antony.

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Antony was responding to queries about reports suggesting that black money related to defence deals was lying in banks in Switzerland.

Refusing to say anything more on the issue, he said the government's intentions have already been made clear by the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister.

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Image: People stand in front of the headquarters of Swiss banks UBS.
Photographs: Reuters.
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On Wednesday, the Prime Minister had said there was "no instant solution" to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks and that information with Government cannot be made public due to treaty obligations.

His comments came close on the heels of the Supreme Court pulling up the government for withholding information on black money stashed in foreign banks, saying it is not just limited to tax evasion but a "mind boggling crime" amounting to theft and plunder of national wealth having security ramifications.

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Image: Euro notes.
Photographs: Reuters.
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The apex court made the observation while hearing a petition filed by noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani , who along with some retired bureaucrats and police officers, approached it seeking directions to the government to take steps to bring black money to the tune of one trillion dollars stashed in foreign bank back to the country.

The Centre's contention before the court is that it was a case of tax evasion and it cannot make public the names of Indian account holders.


Image: Swiss Franc.

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