New Delhi: The aggregate amount of illegal foreign remittances sent via a Bank of Baroda (BoB) branch under the context of imports, which is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), was scaled down from Rs. 6,172 crore to about Rs. 3,200 crore.
“The bank had initially quoted overseas remittances to the tune of Rs. 6,172 crore, based on an internal audit. Following a review, the bank then brought it down to Rs. 5,100 crore. However, the latest figure stands at Rs.3,200 crore,” an officer was quoted as saying to a newspaper.
The investigative agencies are tracking the transactions made through 59 bank accounts in the case, which were opened through an Ashok Vihar branch of Bank of Baroda by two bank officials. The transition of money took through Hong Kong and Dubai.
The majority of the accounts were registered under the name of import companies and mentioned fake addresses. The CBI investigations disclosed that the identification documents were forged in the name of slum dwellers, drivers and street vendors to set up these shell companies. They also paid Rs. 10,000 to 15,000 per month to the people for allowing them to use their documents.
CBI found that the deceitful exporters by the branch led to trade-based money laundering to retain illegal duty drawback benefits. The bank branch would use overstated statements, to pay an extra sum to their Indian accomplices, which would drawback the duty claims by them.
The arrangement by the bank branch caused a deficit of funds on the part of the middlemen and, to surpass the shortfall, the illegal sum would be pushed into the banking system via small and undetectable deposits through the entry operators in large numbers to Indian accounts.