Laundering tip-off leads ED to 50 bank branches; I-T flags deposits in shell cos, Jan dhan A/cs

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NEW DELHI: Keeping up the pressure on money launderers using banking channels to legitimise their unaccounted income in banned currency notes, the Enforcement Directorate started scrutinising transactions of 50 branches of least 10 banks across the country on Wednesday.

The agency received tipoffs from the Income Tax department which has specific information on banks receiving huge deposits of unaccounted income in shell companies and Jan Dhan accounts.

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has also been providing ED details of suspicious transactions that they received from the banks.

The anti-money laundering agency, which is investigating the Rs 40 crore transactions of Axis Bank’s Kashmere Gate branch, arrested a chartered accountant on Wednesday as it stepped up its crackdown on people using dormant bank accounts to launder unaccounted money.

The arrested chartered accountant, Rajeev Kushwaha, is one of the many ‘entry operators’ who are allegedly assisting people with black money to exchange banned notes with gold at heavily inflated prices and then launder the proceeds through banking channels by depositing the money in shell companies.

The ED operations on bank branches were spread across Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai. Some of these bank branches registered huge deposits of banned currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations.

In the days after the announcement of demonetisation on November 8, the ED had conducted searches on at least 40 premises of hawala dealers across the country.

the I-T has simultaneously launched a crackdown on those who had made declarations of their unaccounted income under the one-time amnesty scheme — the Income Disclosure Scheme — but failed to deposit the first instalment of tax by the November 30 deadline.

The country is full of cheats and AAM ADMI is helping them to cheat the government. Is it the responsibility of only Modi to clean the system, others should come forward and help him in the matter.Sudarshan Nindrajog

Within a week after the expiry of the deadline, the I-T department found more than Rs 2.23 lakh crore as fake disclosures. All such people either said they had no knowledge of their disclosure or that they had filed for others who backed out at the last moment.

A Bandra family had filed disclosure of Rs 2 lakh crore in unaccounted income. Similarly, a Hyderabad man had declared close to Rs 10,000 crore and a real estate agent in Ahmedabad Rs 13,800 crore.