New money laundering routes used by unscrupulous elements
New Delhi: Two bank managers have been arrested and more than 15 suspended in connection with money laundering in different parts of the country .But it may be just a tip of the iceberg. The racket seems to be deep-rooted and, therefore, more heads may roll after a detailed inquiry.
The ban on high-denomination notes had caused worries mainly to black-money holders and corrupt elements. Looking for escape routes they had found private and public sectors bank as one. Soon, they lured some bank mangers into their fold , who were sitting on the fence and who wanted to be lakhpati overnight.
According to bank sources on Tuesday, the two unscrupulous groups chalked out a rather simple plan. Accounts were opened in the name of new companies and in connivance with some bank officials black -money was deposited in these accounts to be transferred to some others later on.
In some cases the transfers were made to jewellers' accounts and in some others to realtors' accounts. Both were having the best of times in the wake of demonetisation announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the second week of last month. Some bank insiders who had nothing in common with these officials spoiled their game.
Based on their tip-off, the enforcement directorate which has been set up primarily to investigate into cases of foreign exchange violation and money-laundering, became active and arrested two managers of a private bank on Monday after inquiry and collecting prime facie evidence. More heads may roll after their interrogation.
Some other banks, according to these sources, have applied some other methods to convert black-money into white. They identified dormant accounts where Know-your-customer (KYC) formalities were completed or which were not in operation since long.
Ill-gotten money was transferred in these accounts with or without the knowledge of customers. A few reports of some labourers and other poor people finding large sums in their accounts have already appeared in newspapers. These were instances of money having been deposited without their knowledge. There is believed to be many other cases of wilful transfers.
This way, it is suspected, a large part of black-money has been converted into white. In each bank branch ten to fifteen accounts , at least, are dormant. They have come handy to bank officials and money-launderers. In a state capital such as Lucknow there are more than 100 bank branches. Multiplied by dormant accounts the number becomes sizable.
Many of them could have been used for money-laundering. Further inquiries by the directorate may bring some facts to light.
Also read: Demonetisation is beginning of PM Modi’s downfall: Hindu Mahasabha