President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said effective measures against money laundering and terror financing were essential in today’s global economic and security environment, as they fostered a more business friendly setting, facilitating legitimate investments and financial flows.
“India too has put in place a strong anti-money laundering legislation, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, said Mr. Mukherjee at the “Enforcement Day” organised by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday.
Commending the agency for its achievements, the President said: “I understand that the Directorate has been making rapid strides in investigating cases under the Act, attaching the laundered proceeds of crime, and launching prosecutions against the offenders. In some cases, the Directorate has succeeded in tracing and restraining the laundered proceeds in jurisdictions outside our territory limit. These attachments of laundered proceeds of crime have bolstered public confidence in them.”
Mr. Mukherjee also emphasised on the need for international cooperation in the fight against cross-border money laundering and terror financing. “Multilateral fora such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, and the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) also need to be optimally utilised by the Enforcement Directorate for bilateral exchanges and follow up with counterpart enforcement agencies for better mutual cooperation,” he said.
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Vladimir Nechaev of the Russia Federation, president of the FATF; Mario Michel Affentranger of the Federal Office of Justice, Swiss Confederation; Rajiv Takru, Secretary Revenue, Ministry of Finance; and ED Director Rajan Katoch.
Last fiscal, the ED recorded the highest ever attachment of “proceeds of crime” valued at about Rs.1,759 crore. It made 127 attachments compared to 65 in 2012-13 and 127 in 2005-2012.
The ED, for the first time, also traded into still-untouched penal legislations such as Trade Marks Act, Customs Act and the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act.