New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) The Finance Ministry is likely to set up Directorate of Criminal Investigation, a specialised wing to probe cases of black money, money laundering and terror funding, by the end of this month. “A dedicated unit called Directorate of Criminal Investigation will look into the nexus between black money (which is illegally acquired), money laundering, and in extreme cases, terror funding. The Directorate would be notified within this month”, a Finance Ministry official told PTI.
The specialised wing — Directorate of Criminal Investigation (Income Tax)– will be manned by hand-picked officers who are experts in financial and forensic investigations.
The I-T department, which has unearthed about Rs 30,000 crore black money in the past two years, has begun putting necessary infrastructure for the new unit.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee gave his approval for the creation of the new unit earlier in the month. The new wing will help in expediting investigations of big-ticket cases and track illegal financial transactions in India and abroad, sources said.
Under the provisions of the new Direct Taxes Code (DTC) which is set to replace the I-T Act by next year, the department, with the operationalisation of this elite unit, will have powers to investigate and summon for evidence, on the lines of the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI.
The new unit will enable the department to deploy additional intelligence and investigation tools to detect and combat terror financing, money laundering, offshore tax evasion and other illegal trades which impact national security.
The creation of the new unit comes in the backdrop of a new plan of action developed by the Finance Ministry for the I-T department, keeping in view the multitude of financial scams in the country and ramifications of national security through illegal funding and Hawala dealings.