India committed to combating money laundering (ACAMS, Sept. - Nov. 2011) by kalyan97


									          AML AROUNd THE WORLd

     India – Committed to
     combating money laundering
     I   ndia, which joined the FATF in June
         2010 as its 34th member, has undertaken
         a number of efforts to improve its anti-
     money laundering (AML) regime. Within
     the context of the Asia/Pacific Group on
                                                                  As a result of the corruption scandals, money
                                                                  laundering has become a political issue
                                                                  in India, with the opposition accusing the
                                                                  government of not doing enough to bring
                                                                  back illegal funds, which had been trans-
                                                                                                                               mainly drug trafficking, fraud, counterfeiting
                                                                                                                               of Indian currency, transnational orga-
                                                                                                                               nized crime, human trafficking and corrup-
                                                                                                                               tion. India’s money laundering threat also
                                                                                                                               comes from its bordering regions and there-
     Money Laundering (APG)1 meeting in July                      ferred abroad.4 According to other media                     fore should also be viewed in this context.
     2011, the Indian Finance Minister Pranab                     sources, some US$450 billion of illegal                      According to a statement published by the
     Mukherjee was quoted as underlining his                      funds or untaxed earnings derived from                       FATF in June 2011, Sri Lanka is listed among
     country’s commitment to countering money                     India have been deposited in foreign banks.5                 jurisdictions with significant AML/CTF defi-
     laundering and the financing of terrorism.                   Sources quoted in the Indian Economic                        ciencies. These countries have not made
     Mr. Mukherjee said a number of measures to                   Times suggest that, according to unofficial
                                                                                                                               sufficient progress in addressing the deficien-
     improve the AML/CTF regime had been put                      estimates, the amount could be as much as
                                                                                                                               cies or have not committed to an action plan
     in place, in tune with the FATF standards,                   US$1.4 trillion. Mauritius is reportedly one
                                                                                                                               developed with the FATF to address the defi-
     as reported in The Hindu on 23 July 2011.2                   of India’s largest foreign investors.6 This is
                                                                                                                               ciencies.8 Furthermore, Nepal and Pakistan
     India has recently tripled the manpower                      alarming given that the funds being invested
                                                                                                                               were also listed by the FATF as countries
     of the Directorate of Enforcement, which                     in India from Mauritius are largely thought to
     spearheads the money laundering investi-                     be laundered funds. According to an article                  whose improvement of AML/CTF compli-
     gations in the country. India has also estab-                published in the Economic Times,7 India                      ance is an on-going process.9
     lished a Financial Intelligence Unit, which                  plans comprehensive reforms both in direct
                                                                                                                               Methods of ML in India
     includes a system of reporting suspicious                    and indirect tax regulations. Of particular
     financial transactions, Mukherjee recalled.3                 interest is the that the new tax regime plans                According to FATF’s Mutual Evaluation
     The country does however continue to face                    to include all passive income earned by                      Report of India, the most common money
     a number of challenges. These are set out                    residents from substantial shareholdings                     laundering methods used in domestic crimes
     here and put in the context of the current                   retained in companies incorporated in low                    are the opening of multiple bank accounts,
     AML regime and other efforts undertaken in                   tax jurisdictions in order to curb money
                                                                                                                               intermingling criminal proceeds with assets
     support of the existing structure.                           laundering activities. The same article
                                                                                                                               of legal origin, purchasing bank checks
                                                                  underlined that the new regime is unlikely to
     A mountain to climb – corruption, money                                                                                   against cash and routing through complex
                                                                  be introduced soon due to the rift between
     laundering and terrorism                                                                                                  legal structures. For transnational organized
                                                                  the federal government and the opposition-
                                                                                                                               crimes, the report notes that the criminal
                                                                  ruled states. India has, however, suffered a
     India, which is often praised for being one                                                                               origin of funds is disguised by using offshore
                                                                  number of serious terrorist attacks, most
     of the oldest and largest democracies of the                                                                              corporations and trade-based money laun-
                                                                  recently in July 2011 in India’s commercial
     world, has, since early 2011, suffered major                                                                              dering techniques.
                                                                  capital Mumbai, reminding the nation of the
     criticism in the international and local media
                                                                  terrorist threat it faces and the importance                 The Hindu newspaper reported that one of
     in relation to widespread corruption, which
                                                                  of AML and CTF measures.                                     the main areas discussed at the 14th annual
     has impregnated all levels of society, govern-
     ment and business. According to Trans-                       The FATF’s Mutual Evaluation Report of                       meeting of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money
     parency International’s Global Corruption                    India, published in June 2010, noted that                    Laundering, in July 2011 deliberated on
     Barometer 2010, India is listed third highest                the main sources of money laundering in                      funding for terrorism and the use of telemar-
     in the Asia Pacific region after Cambodia                    India result from a series of illegal activities             keting networks for perpetrating transna-
     and Afghanistan.                                             committed within and outside the country,                    tional crime, besides money laundering.10
       an autonomous and collaborative international organisation, with a membership of 40 countries and other international and regional observers.
       According to Dr. Christoph Hein, Asia Pacific Correspondent at Germany’s leading newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:
     8,3746,en_32250379_32236992_48263734_1_1_1_1,00.html - srilanka

                                                                                                            AML AROUNd THE WORLd

India’s AML regime                                            •	 Enhance the effectiveness of the financial                 nized throughout India.16 India has suffered
                                                                 sector supervisory regime and ensure that                  a number of large terrorist attacks the most
As noted in the Mutual Evaluation Report of
                                                                 India Post11 is adequately supervised                      recent one on 13 July 2011 in Mumbai, a city
India, published by the FATF in June 2010,                                                                                  which has been the most preferred target for
India’s AML/CTF regime is relatively young.                   •	 Ensure that the component supervisory
                                                                                                                            most terrorist organizations, primarily the
Since 2005, the Prevention of Money Laun-                        authorities make changes to their sanc-
                                                                                                                            separatist forces from Pakistan. According
dering Act (PMLA) has been enforced and                          tioning regimes to allow for effective,
                                                                                                                            to an entry on Wikipedia, Mumbai is the
was most recently amended in 2009. The                           proportionate and dissuasive sanctions
                                                                                                                            richest city in India and has the highest GDP
                                                                 for failures to comply with AML/CTF
unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, (UAPA)                                                                                of any city in South, West or Central Asia.17
which criminalizes terrorist financing, has                                                                                 The Economist reported on 13 July 2011,
been enforced since 1967. It was most                         •	 Extend PML requirements to the full range                  that Indian intelligence fears young Muslims
recently updated in 2008 to bring the legisla-                   of DNFBPs, and ensure that they are effec-                 in the country are growing more radical and
tion more in line with the requirements of the                   tively regulated and supervised.                           there are those who converted to radicalism
UN Convention for the Suppression of the                                                                                    while working as migrant laborers in the
                                                              Already since the publication of this report,                 countries of the Gulf region. Regarding the
Financing of Terrorism.                                       India seems to have continued to work on                      2011 attacks, some suspect that Indian Muja-
Although the report praises India for its                     improving its money laundering regime.                        hideen, might have links to Pakistani jihad-
increased focus on money laundering                           In July 2011 the Indo Asian News Service12                    ists such as Lashkar-e-Tayyaba.18
and its serious commitment to combating                       reported that India’s Supreme Court had
terrorism, the report criticizes the lack                     set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to
of convictions for money laundering or                        investigate incidents of money laundering,
terrorist activities and the lack of effective,               specifically tax evasion. The committee is
dissuasive or proportionate sanctions for                     headed by former Supreme Court judge, B.P.
AML/CTF deficiencies. In this regard the                      Jeevan Reddy.13
report highlights that casinos are the only                   Also in May 2011, the Indian newspaper Busi-
                                                                                                                                        Experts claim that
‘Designated Non-Financial Businesses and
Professions’ (DNFBP), which are included
                                                              ness Standard reported that the U.S. had
                                                              offered assistance to India to support the coun-                         India faces serious
under the PMLA.                                               try’s efforts in combating money laundering
The Mutual Evaluation report makes a series
                                                              and terrorism.14 The two countries agreed to                            threats from dozens
                                                              continue the cooperation between Indian and
of recommendations in order to improve
India’s AML/CTF regime:
                                                              U.S. customs agencies and to explore new                                of extremist groups
                                                              areas of mutual interest to protect the security
•	 Address technical shortcomings in the                      of the global supply chain.
   criminalization of both money laundering
                                                              The threat of Terrorism
   and terrorist financing and in the domestic
   framework of confiscation and provisional                  Experts claim that India faces serious threats                Conclusion
   measures                                                   from dozens of extremist groups. According
                                                              to an article published in the The Times Of                   Given the size of the Indian economy and its
•	 Broaden the customer due diligence obli-
                                                              India, on 12 August 2008, as many as 800                      geostrategic positioning, it has an important
   gations with clear and specific measures
                                                              terrorist cells operate in India. According to                role to play in combating money laundering
   to enhance the current requirements                        an extensive report published about Terrorist                 and terrorist financing. It seems to be rising to
   regarding beneficial ownership                             Groups in India by the Council of Foreign                     the challenge and committed to its mandate
•	 Improve the reliability of identification                  Relations, it is difficult to ascertain the exact             in working with experienced partners to
   documents, the use of pooled accounts,                     number of groups orchestrating attacks in                     master the considerable task it faces.
   PEPs, and non-face-to-face business                        India due to splintering movements.15 The
                                                              South Asia Terrorism Portal, a project of the                 Jennifer Hanley-Giersch, CAMS, managing
•	 Ensure that India Post,11 which recently                   Institute for Conflict Management, an inde-                   director, Business Risk Research Limited,
   became subject to the PMLA, effectively                    pendent, New Delhi-based think tank lists                     Berlin, jennifer.hanley business-risk-
   implements the AML/CTF requirements                        the vast number of terrorist groups orga-           
11 &
  Other members include the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, director of the Indian Intelligence Bureau the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investiga-
   tion, Chairman and joint secretary of the Central Board of Direct Taxes, director generals of the Narcotic Control Bureau and Revenue Intelligence, director of the FIU.

                                                                          ACAMS TODAY | SEPTEMBER–NOVEMBER 2011 | ACAMS.ORG | ACAMSTODAY.ORG                                            59

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