Switzerland starts naming black money holders, two Indians in the list

The Swiss Federal Tax Administration is reported to have published the names of several foreign nationals with Swiss bank accounts, including two Indian women, who are being probed in their respective countries for tax avoidance and other financial irregularities.

The FTA has also asked the Indian duo - Sneh Lata Sawhney and Sangita Sawhney -  to file an appeal within 30 days before the Federal Administrative Court if they do not want their details to be shared with the Indian authorities under their 'mutual assistance' treaty on tax matters.

The notices for the two 'Indian nationals' and many others are dated 12 May, while other such notices are dated 5 and 19 May. They all have 30 days to file an appeal before the Federal Administrative Court providing the reasons and evidence in their support.

However, no further details other than their dates of birth were made public for the two ''Indian nationals'''.

The other foreign nationals whose names were published in the official gazette include British, Spanish, Israeli and Russian citizens.

However, in case of American and Israeli citizens, their full names have been withheld and they have been identified only by their initials and dates of birth.

At least 40 such 'final notices' have been published in the Swiss Federal Gazette so far this month, while more such names are expected to be published in the days ahead.

Under pressure from foreign governments, especially the United States, Switzerland has begun publishing online the names of foreigners and foreign entities wanted by their countries of origin for stashing away unaccounted moneies.

The Swiss Sunday newspaper Sonntagszeitung said the list of names mainly include those from Germany, India, Russia, Britain and the United States, adding that American citizens are identified only by their initials.

Switzerland has been flooded with formal tracing requests from national tax authorities across the world. In response, Switzerland had resorted to listing names, birthdates and nationalities in its federal gazette, where official texts are published.

The Indian government has been pushing the Swiss authorities to share information on the suspected tax evaders, but so far Switzerland has shared some details in cases only where India has been able to provide independent evidence of suspected tax evasion by Indian clients of Swiss banks.