An unpublicised study on unaccounted for incomes in India has a clear focus on trade-based money laundering (TBML) according to a report in the Indian media.

The report in the Business Standard says that the 1,000-page study was produced by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) think-tank. It was commissioned by the former Indian National Congress (INC) government in 2012 and submitted a year later.

Trade transparencyThe study calls for a robust institutional framework against money laundering and suggests the establishment of a trade transparency unit to check TBML.

The NIPFP further recommends amending India’s Customs Act to make proxy imports and exports a criminal offence.

The think tank also wants to see the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit strengthened to ensure timely dissemination of information amongst the customs service, central bank and all other relevant government agencies and departments.

Coordination calls

The study also calls for the institution of a structured mechanism to ensure proper coordination between the Enforcement Directorate and law enforcement agencies.

Another TBML related recommendation is that the scope and applicability of India’s money laundering law should be expanded to include illegal or questionable transactions in commodity exchanges.

More information on the unpublished study can be found here.