Sharing of financial intelligence with foreign agencies approved
Thursday, 29 March 2007, 05:00 Hrs
New Delhi: In a bid to curb money laundering activities, the Indian government allowed financial intelligence unit (FIU-IND), the central agency for supervising suspect financial transactions, to ink MoUs with its overseas counterparts for seeking information. Most foreign FIUS require an MoU to share information on money laundering, Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi told reporters after a cabinet meeting. Information or documents received this way would be treated as confidential and subject to official secrecy. The MoUs would envision such information will not be circulated to any third party. The areas of information would include screening and processing requests from foreign FIUs, disseminating information to them, besides establishing and maintaining relationship with them. The MoUs would provide that authorities will jointly arrange, consistent with the legislation of their respective countries, for acceptable procedures of communication and will consult each other with the purpose of implementing this memorandum. Authorities would not be under any obligation to give assistance if judicial proceedings have already been initiated as the MoUs could be amended or revoked at any time. FIU-Ind, set up three years back, reports directly to the Economic Intelligence Bureau headed by the finance minister, P Chidambaram. It is a central agency responsible for receiving, processing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions.