The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global body against money laundering and terror financing, will carry out an evaluation of India’s money laundering and terror financing activities.
According to the top-secret files of the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Indian banks, including the state-owned banks, have been indulging in money laundering through transactions used in facilitating and financing acts of terrorism, particularly in the region.
The FinCEN tagged at least 44 Indian banks, including the state-owned banks, as the financial institutions of the country linked to transactions by the Indian entities and individuals in Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). The entities and individuals were involved in money laundering of $1.53 billion through 3,201 illegal and suspicious transactions. The practice of money-laundering through 44 commercial banks has also raised questions as to who, where, and for what purpose the money was laundered.
Meanwhile, an Indian government senior official admitted that the FATF will evaluate India for terror financing and money laundering later this year.
He said the Indian government has written to Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab to nominate one IGP-rank officer each, and Gujarat has been asked to nominate a DIG-rank officer to prepare the ground work for the evaluation of the country’s financial crimes.
The Department of Revenue, under the Ministry of Finance, and the Intelligence Bureau, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, will coordinate the whole process, which is expected to take several months.
The evaluation of India’s money laundering and terror financing was slated to start last year but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The evaluation will be conducted by the FATF’s Asia Pacific Group.
REHMAN MALIK: Meanwhile, former foreign minister and PPP Senator Rehman Malik thanked FATF President Dr Marcus Pleyer for his commitment to carry out the evaluation of India’s mechanism to deal with financial crimes.
In a statement, Malik said “I have been persistently writing to the FATF president about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government involvement in money laundering and terror financing.”
He said he had written four letters to Dr Pleyer pleading action against Modi for protecting international fugitives, involved in the biggest ever credit fraud and money laundering and terror financing.
He said the Indian government had started work to hoodwink the world anti-money laundering and terror financing watchdog.
Malik said he would move International Court of Justice against Modi for his brutalities and crimes against humanity in the Occupied Kashmir.