Ready to help India’s probe into stashed cash: Panama minister | India News

NEW DELHI: Panama is ready to help India in carrying forward its probe into the 2016 Panama Papers case, which featured the names of several Indian celebrities and business tycoons.
In an exclusive interview to TOI, foreign minister Janaina Tewaney said Panama is prepared to exchange information with India and brief Indian authorities about the progress it had made to ensure transparency in its financial system.
The minister, while lauding India’s fight against black money, said she had conveyed the same to her counterpart S Jaishankar in a meeting earlier this week. This is the first public assurance of support by a high-level political authority in Panama for Indian investigations which, according to the government, detected undisclosed credits amounting to Rs 20,353 crore in the Panama and Paradise Papers leak.
Tewaney, who has Indian roots, is in India to participate in the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas as a special invitee. She also represented her country in ‘The Voice of Global South’ summit hosted by India.
Money laundering watchdog FATF, which has put Panama on its ‘Increased Monitoring’ list, wants the central American country to, among other things, establish effective mechanisms to monitor the activities of offshore entities and demonstrate the ability to investigate and prosecute money-laundering involving foreign tax crimes.
Tewaney, however, expressed hope that the international community will realise that Panama in the FATF list is not convenient for anyone. The manner in which Panama was targeted after the Panama Papers leak, she said, was extremely unfair. “Today, I can proudly say there are no anonymous societies in Panama. It’s doing more for transparency than some of the countries pointing fingers at Panama. Panama’s legal and financial system even earlier was not against international law. It was replicated by other countries, including some in the developed world. But we understand times have changed,” said Tewaney.

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