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Bank of Baroda officials under CBI custody in Forex case

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New Delhi: Two Bank of Baroda officials arrested on Tuesday send to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for investigation of illegal forex transfer case.

Bank of Baroda employs, assistant general manager Suresh Kumar Garg and foreign exchange unit head Jainis Dubey were arrested in connection to the illegal transfer of Rs.6,172 crore abroad through the bank. The CBI informed the court that both officials have been suspended by the bank.

Special CBI court presiding officer P.K. Jain remanded the duo in CBI custody till October 16 after the central agency said their custody was required to unearth the whole conspiracy. The plea was, however, opposed by defence counsel.

The court asked the probe agency about the criminality involved in the case. “You (probe agency) have to find the offence committed by the accused. You have to collect quality evidence in the case,” the court told the CBI after it failed to respond about the offence committed by the accused.

Citing apex court directions, the court said no accused should be arrested in a hurry.

The CBI told the court that the accused allowed money transfer without informing their regional office. A complaint related to the illegal fund transfer was filed by the bank itself, the court was told.

The central investigating agency said both accused allowed transfer of heavy amounts of money through 59 bank accounts to companies in Hong Kong and Dubai for fake import and export businesses.

The probe agency said that the holders of 59 bank accounts were untraceable and the questioning of the duo would help in identifying those involved in the conspiracy.

The CBI said though the accused were called 3-4 times prior to their arrest, they did not cooperate and thus their custodial interrogation was required to unearth the entire conspiracy.

Defence counsel Bijender Singh, appearing for Garg, told the court that his client had written to the regional office in January, 2015 about the irregularities he noticed in several accounts.

Singh claimed there was no loss to the bank due to this huge foreign fund transfer, adding that Garg was arrested in a hurry to protect someone else.

The court then directed the CBI to conduct investigation first instead of arresting people in the case.

Countering the prosecution’s submissions, the defence counsel said both the accused were under detention since October 9, thus giving the CBI sufficient time to interrogate them. No further custodial interrogation of the duo was required, the defence said.

The case pertains to the transfer of Rs.6,172 crore in foreign exchange through a Bank of Baroda branch to Hong Kong. The money was transferred through 59 bank accounts to companies in Hong Kong and Dubai for fake import and export businesses.

“A search revealed that addresses given by at least 50 companies for bank records were fake,” said a CBI official.
“Interrogation of bank officials revealed that some employees acted as middlemen for these companies,” he added.

(IANS)

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Dangal continues its Victory march, becomes the Highest Grossing Bollywood Film in Hong Kong

"Dangal" currently has an overseas total of $217.17 million and worldwide collection of $297.68 million (including India)

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Dangal movie
  • Dangal becomes the highest grossing Bollywood film in Hong Kong with a collection of 23.45 million Hong Kong dollars
  • “Dangal” has crossed the lifetime collection of Aamir’s 2009 film “3 Idiots”
  • The film has been backed by Disney India and Aamir Khan Production.

Mumbai, Sep 23, 2017: Bollywood superstar Aamir Khans sports drama film “Dangal” is continuing its victory march at the box office worldwide and has become the highest grossing Bollywood film in Hong Kong with a collection of 23.45 million Hong Kong dollars.

As confirmed by the film’s spokesperson, “Dangal” has crossed the lifetime collection of Aamir’s 2009 film “3 Idiots”, which minted 23.41 million Kong Kong dollars in the country.
“The film released in 46 screens in Hong Kong and Macau which is four times more than the regular screen count for a Hindi mainstream release,” said Amrita Pandey, Vice President – Studios, Disney India.

Also read: Despite Testy Ties, Bollywood Movie ‘Dangal’ that addresses Social Themes and Stars Actor Aamir Khan captivates Audiences in China

“The local audience’s overwhelming response reaffirms that an inspiring story backed by the right team, distribution planning, superior storytelling with such strong performances — can win hearts and transcend boundaries, and ‘Dangal’ exemplifies that,” Pandey added.

The film has been backed by Disney India and Aamir Khan Production.

Based on the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat, an amateur wrestler, who trains his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari to be world-class wrestlers, the film also features Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Zaira Wasim.

“Dangal” currently has an overseas total of $217.17 million and worldwide collection of $297.68 million (including India).

(IANS)

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Journey of Indian Origin Harry S. Banga among Richest people in Hong Kong

Harindarpal Singh Banga is among the list of Top 50 richest people according to Forbes Magazine

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Harry S. Banga is one of the richest people in Hong Kong
Harry S. Banga is one of the richest people in Hong Kong. Pixabay

Hong Kong, Sep 11, 2017: He grew up in Chandigarh and never thought he would be a billionaire and one of the richest people in Hong Kong. But Harry S. Banga has done that successfully in the fields of commodities, ship management and asset management.

With a net worth of $1.02 billion, Harindarpal Singh Banga, as the chairman of the fairly young Caravel Group, not only figures among the list of Top 50 richest people (Forbes Magazine) in Hong Kong but is known as the tycoon who has staged a comeback in the commodities sector in a big way.

“It’s been a great journey. (I am) So proud of achieving what we have done. Obviously, there were a lot of ups and downs. Never realised on leaving Chandigarh that I will be where I am today. By the grace of god, it has been a wonderful and successful journey. One day I will write a book,” Banga told IANS during an interview in the swanky headquarters of the Caravel Group in the Central Plaza skyscraper in Hong Kong’s busy Wan Chai commercial area.

Banga, who started as a shippie, has reasons to feel proud.

He exited the Noble Group, in which he was a co-founder in 1988, just before it started crumbling on the business front. Setting up the Caravel Group in 2013 with an $800 million investment, Banga was soon back in the big league of Hong Kong billionaires early this year.

“We have three verticals within the Caravel Group. The first one is Asset Management. It is purely investing in liquid assets in equity, fixed income and debt investment and some private equity investment. The other part is brick and mortar business in Caravel International which has got two verticals. One is Caravel Resources under which we do the commodities business. Then we have Caravel Maritime and Caravel Fleet Management Limited.

“Today we are the third largest ship management company in the world. We have 450 ships under our management, close to $20 billion dollars of assets. Total officers and crew are about 18,000 — the majority of them from India,” he explained.

With operations spread in 19 countries across most continents, Banga says that doing business with China is easier.

“Seventy per cent of our total turnover comes from China. I have been dealing with China since 1983. Dealing with officials and corporates in China, I find them very easy to develop and do business with.

“Our business mainly focuses around China, which is the main consumer of commodities today. Today, we are the largest international trading company supplying iron ore to China. Total volume is 40 million tonnes. The originating countries are India, Australia, South Africa and Brazil. Caravel Carbon does the thermal coal business. Sixty per cent of that goes into China and 40 percent to India to power plants, cement plants etc,” he said.

Though his company has offices in India, the business dealing is limited.

“While in other countries in Europe, Australia, America it is either a green light or red light — it is all very clear. Though in the last three years it is changing, in India it is permanent amber light. So, you don’t know if it is red or green. They do come with a policy in India but it takes a long time to understand that policy,” said Banga, who was honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Award in 2011 by the Indian government.

“Ours (India) is not easy. We have religion issues, caste issues, language issues, states have their own issues. All these things are very challenging. New Delhi takes decisions. The implementation is in districts. It is a very different world there (in the districts). In Beijing, one guy decides, everyone implements,” he said.

Banga is worried that too many young people in India are getting education and skills, but not enough jobs are available.

“In India, we have the beauty product and health product e-retail company called Nykaa. That is one of the major investments that we have,” he added.

Born in Amritsar, Banga, 66, did his schooling and bachelor of engineering in Chandigarh before moving out in the 1970s.

“I became the youngest captain at the age of 27-and-a-half. I worked with companies in London, Geneva and Hong Kong, where I arrived in 1984,” he said.

Among other things, Banga has an eye for contemporary paintings and antiques. (IANS)

 

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Inside ‘Pitaji’ Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s ‘Gufa’, ‘Pardon’ meant Rape

Sadhvis of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect were forced to seek 'mafi' (pardon) from its chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The 'mafi' turned out to be rape.

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Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
DSS chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. IANS

Chandigarh, September 8, 2017 : Female disciples or ‘sadhvis’ of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect were forced to seek ‘mafi’ (pardon) from its chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, at his whims and fancies. For those who did not know what ‘mafi’ meant, it turned to be rape by the man whom they considered their god.

These gory details have emerged in the judgment which recently convicted Ram Rahim for the rape of two female disciples in 1999.

The DSS chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who turned 50 last month, was sentenced by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court judge Jagdeep Singh to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment — 10 years for each count of rape.

Investigations by the CBI, as quoted in the judgment, describe a ‘gufa’ (cave) of the accused inside the sprawling 600-acre campus of the DSS sect near Sirsa town in Haryana.

One of the rape victims told the court and the CBI that she heard of the word ‘mafi’ from other sadhvis.

“The other sadhvis used to ask her (Victim A) as to whether ‘pitaji’ (father, as Ram Rahim is referred to by his followers) had granted ‘mafi’ to her or not, but at that time she did not understand the meaning of the word. When she used to ask from them as to what was the meaning of ‘mafi, they used to laugh at her,” the judgment, quoting the statement of one of the rape victims, said.

It was on the night of August 28, 1999, that the victim was taken by DSS ashram in-charge Sudesh to the ‘gufa’ of the self-styled godman. The victim gave details of what happened inside the gufa and how she was raped by the person whom she considered her god.

The victim said that Ram Rahim told her that she had become ‘apavitar’ (unholy) because of her past deeds and that he was going to purify her. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was watching a porn film when the victim entered his room, even had a pistol on the bed to intimidate her. After committing the rape, he warned her against relating the incident to anyone, failing which she and her family would be eliminated.

The same victim was again raped by the sect chief after a year.

Almost a similar modus operandi was adopted while committing rape on Victim-B in September 1999.

The CBI investigation revealed that out of the 133 sadhvis residing in two hostels of the DSS campuses, 24 had left during 1997-2002. The CBI, which was entrusted the inquiry into happenings at the DSS campus after an anonymous letter of rape and sexual exploitation of sadhvis by the sect chief emerged in 2002, could trace only 18 sadhvis who had faced exploitation during their stay.

“Both the prosecutrix, i.e. prosecutrix-A and prosecutrix-B, have stood like rocks and credibility of these witnesses/victims could not be impeached despite very lengthy cross-examination and they have consistently deposed that they were ravished by the accused while residing in the Dera campus,” the 167-page conviction judgment noted. (IANS)