India and GFI dispute US$505 billion illicit financial flow estimate

India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has described Global Financial Integrity’s (GFI’s) estimated illicit financial flows (IFFs) from India as “heavily exaggerated”.

Washington-based research and lobby group GFI maintains that its estimate of US$505 billion outflows over a ten-year period are consistent with official data from India and Switzerland submitted to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Official data

The dispute appears to be centred on the scale of gold trade-based money laundering between India and Switzerland.

“GFI’s illicit flows figures for India were consistent with the data provided by the governments of India and Switzerland to the IMF. All our country estimates are derived from data provided by governments to the IMF,” GFI said in an email statement to Indian media.

“What we did not know at the time of publication is that for several decades Switzerland did not report its exports of gold. It was due to this omission of data from official Swiss government statistics that caused the issue now being researched by DRI,” the statement added.

Further investigation

In its report “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries 2004-2013”, GFI estimated that IFFs out of India for the period was US$505 billion.

Now it is reported that the SIT is considering sending DRI officials to several countries abroad, including the US and Switzerland, to assess for themselves the actual scale of IFFs.

Switzerland has recently started to report past gold exports to the IMF and this data will be included in DRI’s final report according to an agency official.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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