ED begins probe against 300 co-operative banks

IT Dept

New Delhi, December 21: Hastening the sleuth against suspicious “black money” transactions, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has started investigating around 300 district co-operative banks across India reported ET on Wednesday.

The news came after a cooperative bank from Mumbai -Shamrao Vithal co-operative Bank -reported Rs 1,400 crore in deposits post November 8, demonetisation. In the investigation it was found that the bank has overstated Rs 500 crore transaction to RBI while it had actually received only Rs 900 crore in `deposits’.

The RBI referred the case to the ED for further investigation. As per the report ED officials have asked the Mumbai bank to provide all of their transactions for examination.

Suspecting massive money laundering being active all across the country, the ED has asked the 300 district co-operative banks to provide CDs containing details of their deposits and other transactions, particularly since the noteban of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8.

All the transaction are under the scanner, including cash deposits, money transfers through RTGS (real time gross settlement), new accounts opened since demonetisation, and accounts these banks have in other government and private commercial banks.

ED, income tax department and the CBI will collectively join the probe against co-operative banks. As per the sources, the co-operative banks are also asked to provide CCTV footage of their branches since the demonetisation started.

The banks are under the radar of ITD as many of these cooperative banks were controlled by politicians, particularly in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala as per the source. The government wants to target those money launderers who generally use farmers as fronts to launder money.

As the window of depositing demonetisation opened in the November a handful of co-operative banks reported deposits of more than Rs 10,000 crore with in few days and the government later on closed the window.

Wefornews Bureau

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