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July 17, 2011




Page: 21/39

Home > 2011 Issues > July 17, 2011

A focus on black money
By Manju Gupta
The Darker Side of Black Money: An Insight into the World of Financial Secrecy & Tax Havens, BV Kumar, Konark Publishers, Pp 225, Rs 295.00

WRITTEN by one who retired from the Indian Revenue Service after serving in various capacities in the intelligence departments related to smuggling contraband, drugs and organised economic crime, this book reveals the seamier side of the illegal flow of money across the Indian border to tax havens in different parts of the world, causing loss not only to the country’s exchequer, but giving rise to possibilities of misuse of such funds by crime syndicates, terrorist outfits and other anti-establishment and anti-national forces.

The movement of ‘black or hot’ money across the national border is not easy to check in today’s interconnected world. Financial outflows and inflows are often viewed as indices of the dynamism prevailing in a nation’s economic makeup. Macro and micro management of financial flows in such a scenario becomes exceedingly complicated, making it difficult to separate legal from illegal transactions.

When former Swiss banker, Rudolf Elmer handed over information about bank accounts of over 2,000 individuals to WikiLeaks, it made the world sit up and note, as it was possibly the first step towards the opening of a closet of skeletons – skeletons of politicians, godmen, terrorists, oil barons and kings. Though the details are still awaited, the fact largely known but seldom acknowledged is primarily because of the high-profile names attached to it, but the headlines both in India and abroad on the figures mentioned in the books are both staggering and startling.

Case studies of money laundering through banks have been provided. Instances where banks have facilitated gun-running, drug smuggling, terrorism and other illegal transactional activities also find mention in the book, which also discusses how a rogue bank that started in 1972 expanded exponentially worldwide though fraudulent means and generated through connections with the powers that be to ensure immunity, but finally saw its collapse in 1991.

(Konark Publishers Pvt Ltd, 206, First Floor, Peacock Lane, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi-110 049; www.konarkpublishers.com)




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