New Delhi, Mar 13: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has started a probe to verify whether USD 505 billion was siphoned out of the country illegally during 2004-13, when Congress-led UPA was in power. The probe comes after a direction from Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) in this regard. It cited a report by the US-based think-tank Global Finance Integrity (GFI) which said that India had the fourth largest outflow of black money in the world with a whopping USD 51 billion being siphoned out every year between 2004 and 2013. DRI sources said they have got the relevant papers and are examining the matter.

“The DRI is examining whether the details of black money flow and the amount mentioned in the GFI report are correct. Initially, the report hints at cases of trade-based money laundering,” a source said. The SIT has, in its various reports, observed that trade-based money laundering is major source through which money is taken out of the country illegally. In its second report, the SIT had recommended that there should be an institutional mechanism through a dedicated setup which examines mismatch between export and import data with corresponding import and export data of other countries on a regular basis. (Also Read: Black money to attract double payout after 4-month window)

The SIT has also recommended that wherever possible, especially in case of commodities, a system for cross-checking of prices of imports and exports with international prices may be done. The Global Financial Integrity, in its report, ‘Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries 2004?2013’ has estimated that illicit financial flows out of India for the period 2004?2013 to the tune of USD 505 billion. The SIT obtained detailed calculations of country?wise illicit financial flows for each of these years from GFI. Thereafter, the details have been sent to the DRI. Further necessary action shall be taken by SIT after receipt of report from DRI in this regard.