Published On: Sun, Oct 11th, 2015

CBI carries out massive search operation in Rs 6,000 cr remittances case

New Delhi: CBI teams today swooped down at 50 locations in Delhi in connection with its probe into alleged spurious transactions of Rs 6,000 crore to Hong Kong from a Bank of Baroda branch in the garb of purported payments of “non-existent” imports.

Executive Director Bank of Baroda B B Joshi

Executive Director Bank of Baroda B B Joshi

CBI sources said agency has found that Ashok Vihar branch of the bank was a relatively new one which has got the permission to entertain forex transactions only in 2013.

They said that Rs 6,000 crore were transferred through nearly 8,000 transactions done between July, 2014 and July, 2015.

Giving details of the case, CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh said here today it was alleged that the amount remitted in each transaction would be kept at less than USD one lakh.

“All the remittances were made to Hong Kong. The amount was remitted as advance for import and in most of the cases, the beneficiary was the same,” the spokesperson said.

Most of the foreign exchange-related transactions were carried out in newly opened current accounts wherein heavy cash receipts were observed but the branch did not generate Exceptional Transaction Report (ETR) and did not monitor the high value transactions, she said.

The sources said these remittances were sent by splitting them into amounts below one lakh USD to avoid automatic detection by software used by banks to alert them about such transactions.

They said in taxation language the technique is known as smurfing and holders were able to skip the scrutiny of such transactions.

The sources said most of the 59 accused have been identified by the agency which today carried out searches at 50 locations in a massive operation involving about 200 officers.

“It was revealed that most of the addresses given by the companies / firms were either false or the companies / firms did not exist at the said addresses. Most of the accused persons allegedly involved in perpetration of the said crime have been identified and their interrogation is underway,” she said.

CBI is tight-lipped about accused and beneficiary in the case claiming that probe which is in a delicate state is not jeopardised.

CBI has registered a case under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) of IPC and Section 13(2) read with13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against 59 current account holders and unknown bank officials and private persons on a complaint from Bank of Baroda.

PTI

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