Advani And The Swiss Bank Money Hoax

Self-appointed Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani apparently is too excited about the Internet.  He suddenly is receiving chain mails like all of us – and has decided the government policy should be decided based on these email forwards.

Mr.Advani now wants all black money stashed away in Swiss banks by Indians brought back. And he promises to do that if he comes to power. Well,  how a man who couldn’t negotiate a few hijackers – will arm-twist Swiss bankers is beyond me.

But Mr. Advani has a lot of figures to quote from a “credible source” called the Wikipedia.

Quoting Wikipedia, which he described as the “most credible” source of information, Mr. Advani said that in 2007, holdings in Swiss banks by Indians were estimated at $5.7 billion, up from $2.6 billion in 2001

His  press release says:

It is equally well known that many wealthy Indians have deposited their illicit monies in secret Swiss bank accounts and tax havens elsewhere around the world. As per credible estimates, these amounts range between $500 billion (Rs. 25,00,000 crore) and $1400 billion (Rs. 70,00,000 crore).

Now where in the whole Wikipedia do these figures appear? I can’t find any such mention in the Wiki. Probably it has been edited out. But I can tell you precisely where Mr.Advani got those “credible estimates” from.

It comes from a hoax email chain that has been around for a couple of years now.  A version of it is here. Over the past year or so – a number of journalists, web media guys and bloggers have fallen for this and have converted the email contents into news reports and blog posts. And now Advani, the PM-in-waiting too has fallen for it.

Here’s what this legend claims.

Black money in Swiss banks — Swiss Banking Association report, 2006 details bank deposits in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries:

Top five

India—- $1456 billion
Russia—$ 470 billion
UK——-$390 billion
Ukraine- $100 billion
China—–$ 96 billion

Okay, the small problem is that the ‘Swiss Banking Association’ simply doesn’t exist. There is a ‘Swiss Bankers Association’ - but that never released any such report. So, where does Advani’s figures come from?

Further Advani has a crack team in place who will work out a way to bring the money back.

The BJP will form a Task Force comprising experts in law, accounting, management and intelligence to prepare a strategic document for India to recommend ways to get back the national wealth stashed away illegally by the corrupt politicians, venal businessmen and criminal overlords. Shri S. Gurumurthy, well-known chartered accountant and writer specializing in investigative journalism; Dr. R. Vaidyanathan, Professor of Finance at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore; Shri Mahesh Jethmalani, a renowned lawyer; and Shri Ajit Doval, an acclaimed national security expert, have agreed to work voluntarily on this Task Force.

Now in addition to Advani – we have a further four idiots who don’t even the know the source of the information they are throwing around – and they will recommend ways to get back the money.

I don’t mind Advani’s populist promises- but at least he could get his facts right.

Posted by Manish on March 30, 2009 in In Deshwa,What the Fishwa?


1 WTF - Fake Iron Man & Internet hoaxes « A load of crap from an idle brain { 03.31.09 at 6:02 am }

[...] Manish’s post as he busts the hoax that is popularly going round on the internet mentioning that almost US$ 5.7 [...]

2 Dr Anshu { 03.31.09 at 8:09 am }

I am genuinely fed up with this man and the way he rakes up Hindutva and hoax claims. Now that Varun Gandhi seems to have upset his juggernaut by his and his mother’s tactics, he seems completely muddled up.

Another issue which has puzzled me is Sri Sri Ravishankar’s blog on the Power of your vote. While I see nothing objectionable in those words, what surprises me is what his followers are propagating in small groups. Suddenly you have people from the Art of Living coming to you and telling you that Hinduism is going to the dogs under this regime, and you ought to ‘vote for change’ as guruji has said. What a con, man! Is this man aware of what his chelas are doing, or are they doing it under his directives? I never did have any faith in these God men, now his ambitions for the Nobel Peace Prize can rust in hell.


3 Sriram { 03.31.09 at 8:03 pm }

Perhaps you’d consider reading this –

An article by an IIM-A professor about this whole swiss bank thing.. the person you called an ‘idiot’ above.. Wouldn’t call it that far fetched.. besides, calling them idiots is a bit thick don’t you think?

4 Manish { 03.31.09 at 9:19 pm }

The same IIM-A moron who is in the task force has written the DNA article. Nowhere does Vaidtyanathan quote where he sourced his figures. All he says, in probably IIM fashion is – “It is estimated that between $500 billion and $1,400 billion is hoarded in Swiss banks”

How the hell does the the professor know?

And he’s the same ass who has probably drafted the press release as well. And since when does being from IIM disqualify you from being an idiot?

5 vimoh { 03.31.09 at 10:02 pm }

How pleasantly shocking!

6 Anshu { 03.31.09 at 11:12 pm }

Oh man! So this was the document the AoL chelas were flashing at me before I flared up!


7 Anshu { 03.31.09 at 11:18 pm }

Ooh, there goes your RamRajya harbinger of a wannabe PM Advani again: He equates Varun Gandhi to …of all things… ‘a patriot’! “I remember the Emergency when great patriots like Jai Prakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Atal Bihari Vajpayee were arrested under MISA contending that they were a threat to national security.”

I don’t care whether Varun Gandhi is a threat to security or not, but he is a ‘bin painde ka lota’ who can’t decide whether he said something or not, or if he said something whether he should stand by it or say it is doctored or accept the Shivsena supremo’s love! Any chap with a little more brains and a LSE degree (doctored again!) would know where to shut his dirty mouth.


8 Anshu { 04.01.09 at 7:20 pm }

Manishwa what do you have to say to Vaidya- anna’s talk on rediff

9 Anshu { 04.02.09 at 6:19 pm }

I am furious with the revelations of my students about the activities of the Art of Living foundation. It is time the cloaks came off. Read this on my blog

10 Vijayan { 04.03.09 at 9:19 am }

Bibek Debroy seems to be hanging around here as well.

11 gabbar { 04.05.09 at 1:14 pm }

Very nice article and you just naked him up. (advani)

Keep exposing him up. Thanks for a wonderful article.

India wants to get rid from him (advani).


12 senthil { 04.06.09 at 1:06 am }

Let’s leave off advani.. what do you feel of indian money packed in swiss bank? Do you feel, there is no such money as claimed, or do you feel, there is only little money in swiss?

You can have the right to hate advani.. but you cannot hide the facts..

Ok.. let me point out another article on the same topic.. its by S. Gurumurthy..,+Dr+Manmohan+Singh&SectionName=aVlZZy44Xq0bJKAA84nwcg==

Probably, you might reject him as yet another hindutva boy.. but i want you to counter what gurumurthy says and not blame him..

13 Manish { 04.06.09 at 7:30 am }

Of course there would me money stashed away – but how do you come to the figure is the question.

The fact is – these boys simply took a figure from a chain email. When the press release came out – there was no mention of GFI or Raymond Baker. All they said was Wikipedia – which does not have the info in the first place. When their hoax was caught – the IIM-A professor quickly juggled his figures – like multiplying GFI approximates by a factor that fitted in (55 years or 60 years) and simply brought the figure to match the hoax email.

The fact is – the BJP think-tank simply quoted numbers to make it dramatic – and when they were caught – they simply cloaking things further.

Gurumurthy’s article is just a rehash of what Vaidyanathan has been claiming. And read Debroy’s article – which effectively rips both their claims.

14 CHURUMURI POLL: Bring back Swiss bank money? « churumuri { 04.06.09 at 5:11 pm }

[...] Advani and the Swiss money hoax [...]

15 Hydblue { 04.08.09 at 2:29 pm }

Hi Manishwa,

Great article.I was going through the fine print of this issue because i wanted to write about it and I discovered that you had already covered most of the main points.Please see my article on my blog

16 Manivannan { 04.13.09 at 10:44 pm }

Hi Manish,

Good job! It is refreshing to see there are people who do piercing analysis, and who are not dazzled by the hallucinations these guys bring on the people. Wish a day will come when citizens like you, will get to decide where the country should go; instead of a bunch of selfish and incompetent guys, who get there abusing the ignorant mass.

17 abhay { 04.14.09 at 4:55 pm }

Good you know what now this advani just for kursi is spending more than 20 lakhs a day on google adword.. My dear moron advani why dont you spend money on poor.. or the infrastructure..
No please dont spend money on breakign the country..using relegion as a pretex ..i think next time tada should be implemented on him i think he is a isi member since he is tryin gall tricks to break up the country ..

18 Swami { 04.26.09 at 10:45 pm }

It’s all a hoax. No way Indians have 1.4 trillion $ in swiss banks. The amount is just too much. Such crap

19 Toblerone { 05.02.09 at 8:32 pm }

Advani never said the black money belongs to Congress. By defending their right of not doing anything and accusing Advani of lying Congress has betrayed their fears.
Wouldn’t it be a better way of nailing his lie by asking the Germans for the info about Indians in the list of 1400 people and then publishing that data . When we see no Indian names in that list who will be liar Congress or Advani ?

20 Manish Chandra { 11.30.09 at 2:21 am }

When main issue is to bring back money to India, your writings appear running behind the statistics and politics. You must be aware of the fact that ~15000 people in US declared to IRS their black money in Swiss Banks. This happened because US got the name of account holders from Swiss Bank and didn’t chase the ifs and whys of statistics.

We know where India stands in the long list of corrupt countries. Now, dont tell me that the hoax mail was initiated by anti-indians and fascists.

Are you scared of the day when India will get back all black money stashed in foreign banks?

21 WTF - Fake Iron Man & Internet hoax - The Business, Finance & Investments Blog { 11.05.14 at 5:27 pm }

[…] Manish’s post as he busts the hoax that is popularly going round on the internet mentioning that almost US$ 5.7 […]

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