Curbing benami transactions


May 1 2017

In this era of rampant corruption, tax evasion, drug trafficking, terrorist financing and other felonious activities, benami is considered one of the simplest and easiest schemes to conceal proceeds of crimes.

A benamidar or nominee is a person who holds asset titles for the benefit of another person – most often a criminal – allowing that criminal to enjoy the fruits of his crimes without being noticed by tax and counter terrorism authorities, anti-corruption establishments, anti-narcotics forces and other law enforcement agencies. Criminals usually elect close relatives, loyal friends and trustworthy servants to be their benamidars or nominees. Assets procured through ill-gotten money are kept in these people’s names to avoid them being detected. Benami schemes also offer protection against forfeiture of assets if the criminal faces punishment.