The Centre on Monday disclosed before the Supreme Court, names of three business persons -- former Dabur executive Pradip Burman, Rajkot-based bullion trader and jeweller Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhia and Goa miner Radha S Timblo -- for having allegedly stashed black money abroad.
But a look at official data shows, that as far as money laundering in India is concerned, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Income Tax Department detected undisclosed incomes totalling Rs 90,390 crore in IT surveys and Rs 10,791 crore in search operations across the country in 2013-14, according to a recent report.
Here is a detailed split of yields from IT searches and surveys over the last three years.
As can be seen from the graph, there has been a 367% increase in 'detection of undisclosed income' through IT surveys this year, compared to figures last year.
A December 2013 report by the Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a non-profit research and advocacy organization, places India in 5th position on 'illicit financial outflows' category. Apart from tax evasion, 'illicit financial outflows' also includes money from crime, corruption and other illegal activities.
Here is a detailed graph on the top 10 countries
As can be seen from the above graph, India's illicit financial outflows steadily increased over the past decade. Especially it increased by a massive 196% from 2009 to 2011.
Cracking the whip
The Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU - IND) has been regularly responding to requests for information from revenue authorities and anti-money-laundering agencies like the CBDT, ED, and CEIB over the past six years.
Here is a year-wise break-up of requests from agencies seeking information from the FIU-IND.
As can be seen from the graph there has been a steady increase in the number of requests. Which means that the government has started taking the issue more seriously over the years.
Using this information , agencies have registered several cases and convicted many persons under two acts - PMLA ( Prevention of Money Laundering act) and FEMA ( Foreign Exchange Management Act)
The Enforcement Directorate has so far registered 1437 cases under the PMLA. 22 persons were arrested and 131 provisional attachment orders issued on properties valued at Rs 1,214 crore. The PMLA came into force with effect from July 1, 2005.
With the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) which came into effect from June 1, 2000 the government has registered 23,118 cases. This resulted in penalties amounting to Rs 1,678 crore.
Story ideation, research and data collection : Sourjya Bhowmick (@sourjyabhowmick)
Written and visualized by : Vignesh Radhakrishnan (@vinuthewriter)
1. White paper on black money by ministry of finance - dept of revenue.
2. Global illicit financial flows report 2013
3. Parliamentary Q and A