Recognising the challenges in recovering unaccounted wealth stashed abroad, India has now sought the help of a multilateral framework set up by the World Bank and UN that offers systematic assistance in recovering laundered assets.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has tied up with the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (Star) of the World Bank and the UN office on Drugs and Crime, the only global initiative in international asset recovery. According to some reports, India loses $600 million every year in tax revenue on account of tax evaded money coming back to India in the form of foreign direct investment, in what is called 'round tripping.'
Rajan Katoch, director of enforcement, told FE that the ED was working on a formal framework for co-operation with all the countries for attachment of laundered assets and that the WB and the UNODC were co-ordinating the efforts.
The Star initiative co-operates with all the OECD, G8 and G20 nations in recovering laundered assets.
While countries pursuing tax evaded money stashed abroad have to take up the matter individually with the country where those assets are located, Star would act like a facilitator between the parties.