Overseas bank accounts

Venkatesan R | Updated on: Jan 30, 2011

Is it legal for an Indian resident to deposit money in bank accounts abroad without government permission? Don't the banks abroad question the source of funds? Aren't there international conventions against money laundering? In the face of all these, how is Switzerland blase about the whole thing?

Shyam Sundar, Chennai

An Indian resident is not free to deposit in foreign bank accounts because the Indian rupee is not fully convertible on capital account. When that happens, both Indian residents and foreigners would get a lot more freedom in flow of capital from and out of India. There is an international convention against money-laundering. In fact, our anti-money laundering law was strictly at the behest of and in keeping with the international convention. But today international and multilateral agreements are under challenge. UN is increasingly becoming irrelevant. Narco-terrorism in which Pakistan excels is all about money-laundering. Countries which give sanctuary to tax evaders and money launderers are doing a positive disservice to the world financial order and Switzerland should take the lion's share of blame in this regard, but it is showing no signs of contrition.

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Published on January 30, 2011

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