Rs 7-crore black money conversion, another Axis Bank official arrested

Kolkata: Three persons, including an Axis Bank deputy manager, were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation here on Thursday over their alleged involvement in money laundering after demonetisation, an agency official said. The accused reportedly deposited over Rs 7 crore of black money through accounts of bogus companies. 

The modus operandi was that first 14 to 15 bogus companies were opened, and then accounts were opened in name of these companies and then  Rs 7 crore was deposited in these accounts. The accused then used RTGS and NEFT to transfer money to smaller accounts. Bogus company accounts were opened with fake KYC forms and in connivance with the bank official, sources said.

"We have arrested an official of Axis Bank, and two private persons," a CBI spokesperson told IANS.

The three arrested, according to sources, are Amitesh Sinha, deputy manager Axis Bank,  sales tax consultant  Sanjay Jain and Manoj Kumar Mondal alias Manoj Gupta  who is a businessman and an intermediary. Jain received huge commissions from people for getting their black money converted.

The Axis Bank official and the  sales tax consultant were earlier held by the Enforcement Directorate after raiding about 15 bank branches in the city over suspicions that bank officials were involved in money laundering.

The ED later handed them over to the CBI, which then arrested a third person.

"Sanjay Jain, a sales tax consultant, and a bank official from a private bank were held and interrogated overnight by our team. It was suspected that two were involved in money laundering. They were handed over to CBI early in the morning," said an ED official.

"We raided about 14-15 branches of public and private sector banks where crores of rupees were deposited after the announcement of demonetisation," he said.

The agency carried out an enquiry of records of transactions' following allegations that black money was being converted into white after taking commission, he added.

Meanwhile, Axis Bank said it was cooperating with the investigation agencies and promised strict action against any employee found deviating from the set model code of conduct.

"The bank is committed to following the highest standards of corporate governance and has zero tolerance towards any deviation on the part of any of its employees from the set model code of conduct," the bank's official spokesperson said.

"Strict action will be taken against any employee found deviating from the guidelines. We would also like to add that we areA cooperating with the investigating agencies," the spokesperson said. (IANS/News24Bureau)