Issue Brief on “India’s Financial Irregularities: Money Laundering and Systemic Issues”


In its aggressive pursuit to push Pakistan to Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) blacklist, India neglected to secure its own end first. The recent reports[1] released on 20th September, 2020 by US treasury department’s watchdog, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) highlight financially suspicious activities of various banks across the globe. FinCEN has red flagged transactions of around $2 trillion as “Suspicious Activity Reports” (SARs) between 2010-2017.[2]

While working on these documents, Buzzfeed and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have shared a chunk of this data publically. The released data highlights that Indian banks received $482,181,226 while sending $406,278,962 out of the country in 406 transactional activities during 1999 to 2017.[3]The Buzzfeed report [4] further indicates that these transactions were used in various illegal activities including funding for drug cartels and financing terrorism. A recent UN report on terrorism indicating the increased presence of terrorist in Kerala and Karnataka[5] only lends credence to this claim.

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