Swiss banks operate via hawala: Activists

Black money bomb : Kejriwal gives details of money stashed away in foreign banks

India Against Corruption activists Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhsuhan on Friday brought to light the modus operandi of Swiss Bank accounts and claimed that it is done through hawala transactions.

“On July 28, 2011, the Income Tax (I-T) Department raided three people in Delhi. All the three confessed,” said the anti-graft campaigners.

“Opening an account in a Swiss bank is easier than opening an account in SBI. For a Swiss bank account, you just need to make a call. For a SBI account, you need to visit the branch. This is easy. Why would you have a SBI account? Just go to a Swiss Bank,” they remarked.

The copy of statements of Parminder Singh Kalra of Friends Colony and Praveen Sawhney of Jungpura Extension in New Delhi and Vikram Dhirani of Bulandsahar Road, Ghaziabad (UP) showed how these accounts were operated.

Kalra opened an account in HSBC, Zurich, on January 29, 2001. The deposits in the bank account, to the tune of around Rs 8-9 crore, were not disclosed to the I-T authorities in India.

After opening the account, Kalra gave cash to some person in India, to be deposited in his HSBC, Zurich account.

Different persons came from time to time to collect cash from him. In 2009, when he instructed to close the account, about Rs 8 to 9 crore in cash was delivered to him in Delhi by several persons, according to instructions from a man with whom he was in touch. He had the telephone number of the man in Zurich. 

“The statement of Kalra very clearly establishes that the bank officials are providing illegal channels for transfer of cash from their client account holder in Delhi to Zurich and are instrumental in delivering cash withdrawn by the account holder from Zurich to Delhi,” the anti-graft activists alleged.

Sawhney used to call the bank officials at Geneva for withdrawing money. HSBC, Geneva, used to arrange for delivery of cash in India through their agents in the hawala channel.

Vikram Dhirani opened an account in HSBC, Dubai, in 2005 and closed it in 2006. He explained that the representatives of the bank came to him in Delhi to open the account.

The formalities were completed in Delhi and he did not travel to Dubai.

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