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Financial Intelligence Unit detects over Rs. 7,800cr blackmoney, gets record STRs

Government detected a whopping over Rs. 7,800 crore of illegal money within the country and abroad during 2013-14 as the elite Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) found all-time high cases of suspicious transactions in the country’s economic channels.

As per a latest report prepared by the Finance Ministry, the FIU’s action led to the “detection of unaccounted income of Rs. 7,078 crore by the Income Tax department while the Customs and Service Tax departments detected evasion of Rs. 750 crore” during the said period.

After the premier technical snoop wing under the Finance Ministry processed country-wide Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) it obtained from various financial institutions, the report said, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) also “detected proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs. 20 crore and seized assets to the tune of Rs. 17 crore.”

The report said as a result of this electronic intelligence generated by FIU, the “I-T department seized assets worth Rs. 163 crore and the Service Tax department sealed assets worth Rs. 17 crore during the same period.”

Also, as part of the same action the ED registered as many as 105 fresh criminal FIRs under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) apart from its regular operations against money launderers and hawala operatives in the said time period.

The total black money detected by FIU stands at Rs. 7,848 crore during the last year, a senior Finmin official said who did not wish to be quoted.

The huge amount of black money could be detected during 2013-14, the official said, as the FIU witnessed an about 100 per cent jump in receiving the STRs at 61,953 dossiers as compared to a mere 31,731 STRs received by it during 2012-13.

The agency also received a total of 87,79,082 Cash Transaction Reports (CTRs), 3,01,804 Counterfeit Currency Reports (CCRs) and 80,616 Non-Profit Organisation Transaction Reports (NTRs), the latest updated report also submitted to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money, said.

STR is defined as a transaction which gives rise to a reasonable suspicion that it may involve proceeds of a crime or appears to be made in circumstances of unjustified complexity or gives reasonable grounds to suspect that it may be linked to terrorist activities.

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