The government has approached over half a dozen foreign jurisdictions, including Singapore and some tax havens, for banking and financial details of over 500 individuals and entities that might have “secret offshore accounts” at those places.
The “names and listed addresses” contain details of Indian businessmen and companies, including those from upmarket areas in metros such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai.
The list has been made public after a global expose on secret offshore accounts by US-based rights group, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The foreign tax and tax research (FT&TR) division of the finance ministry has approached the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Singapore under the tax information exchange treaties with these jurisdiction for banking and other details of those named by ICIJ, sources said.
FT&TR has also approached Cook Islands and Samoa through other diplomatic channels along with a few other countries for details of entities alleged to have secret accounts at those places.
“Preliminary inputs obtained in this regard do not present a clear picture and hence details have been sought through official protocol mechanisms and existing treaties,” a senior finance ministry official said.
The ICIJ claims to have found over “100,000 secret companies, trusts and funds created in offshore locales” by global entities in the past three decades.
The names and addresses of the individuals and entities were made public on Saturday.