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India joins global club against financial frauds

India has finally gained membership to the Financial Action Task Force, a global body that chalks policies to counter financial frauds.



New Delhi: India has finally gained
membership to the Financial Action Task Force, a global body
that chalks policies to counter financial frauds and provides
members access to information on suspicious transactions in
countries including Switzerland, China, the US and the UK.

The decision to include India as the 34th member country
was taken during a FATF plenary session in Amsterdam from June
23-25 and marks the end of India`s nearly decade long wait for
admission. During this period, India served as an observer at
FATF.

"India is now a full member of the FATF. The step is a
major development for India and the tax enforcement
authorities in dealing with terror financing and comabting
money laundering," a senior Finance Ministry officer said.

The Union government and financial enforcement and
intelligence agencies of the country like the Financial
Intelligence Unit, Enforcement Directorate, Central Economic
Intelligence Bureau and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
would be able to exchange financial information from member
countries, the officer said.

Other agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation
and the Intelligence Bureau would also be able to route their
requests of information for suspicious ransactions and
individuals through proper channels, he added.

Present members include Switzerland, the United States of
America, China and the United Kingdom.
The membership will also bring increased responsibility
on Indian financial institutions and banks to comply with
better business practices and strict adherence to reporting of
financial transactions including suspicious ones.

"The FATF discussed and adopted the mutual evaluation
reports assessing compliance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
India and Brazil, against the international standards for
combatting money laundering and terrorist financing ? the 40+9
Recommendations," an FATF statement during the Amsterdam
session said.

The FATF discussed and adopted the mutual evaluation
report of India. India has been an observer of the FATF since
November 27, 2006 and was assessed as an observer country in
the context of their request for FATF membership.

The FATF recognises India`s efforts and commitment to
bring its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating Financing
of Terror (CFT) system intoline with FATF recommendations. The
executive summary of the mutual evaluation of India will be
published on July 1, 2010, the statement added.
Last year, retrieving black money stashed away in tax
havens became an election debating point in the country.
Germany, in May this year, handed over data relating to
Indians holding unaccounted money in Liechtenstein-based LGT
Bank.

PTI

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