On the eve of Modi's France visit, the HSBC whistleblower writes an open letter to the PM on India's black-money probe

07 April 2015
Hervé Falciani, a former employee of HSBC Private Bank in Geneva, has been collaborating with multiple governments in investigating illicit offshore banking.
KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images
Hervé Falciani, a former employee of HSBC Private Bank in Geneva, has been collaborating with multiple governments in investigating illicit offshore banking.
KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images

On 15 December 2014, Indian black-money investigators travelled to Paris to meet Hervé Falciani, a former employee of HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) in Geneva. This was after Falciani said he could help India get a lot more information for its black-money probe in this interview to NDTV.

Falciani’s disclosures had earlier revealed how the bank had been helping clients shield billions of dollars’ worth of deposits from public and governmental scrutiny, and had been aiding money laundering and tax evasion on a massive scale. It all started in 2008 when Falciani, who had worked as a technical analyst at HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) in Geneva, leaked bank data to French authorities. The French handed parts of this data, segmented into country-specific portions, to authorities in several other countries. These became known as the “HSBC lists.” India got its list in 2011. Falciani has consistently insisted that countries need access to the entire set of leaked data for their investigators to draw the connections necessary for meaningful results, and to help them expand their probes to look at other banks too.

Following the Paris meeting, in February Falciani said he had signed and returned a proposal from the Indian government requesting him to assist in its black-money probe. India’s income tax department has offered Falciani 5 percent of any tax revenues recovered on account of information furnished by him.

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    Noopur Tiwari is a journalist based in Paris. She has covered Europe for the last 16 years for Indian media. She is on Twitter as @NoopurTiwari.

    Hervé Falciani is a former employee of HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) in Geneva, and the originator of the HSBC leaks. Since 2008, he has been collaborating with numerous governments in investigations into illicit offshore banking.

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