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CBI probe shows scale down of illegal remittances in BoB case

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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.

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NIA to file Chargesheet against Controversial Islamic Preacher Zakir Naik

As per officials, all formalities to file the chargesheet against Naik have been completed and will be duly submitted before a special court within this week

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Zakir Naik
Zakir Abdul Karim Naik is an Indian Islamic preacher, and the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 24, 2017: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is all set to charge sheet the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik for his alleged involvement in money laundering and terror funding activities in India.

As per officials, all formalities to file the charge sheet against Naik have been completed and will be duly submitted before a special court within this week.

The evangelical preacher with an active television presence first came under the lens of security forces following confessions by some terrorists in Bangladesh allegedly involved in the attacks on a café in Dhaka in last July. The perpetrators had claimed that they were reportedly inspired by Naik’s hate speeches.

Following the allegations, the Islamic –preacher had fled from India on July 1, 2016, and continues to live outside the country.

Consequently, on November 18, 2016, the NIA had registered a case in its Mumbai branch against Zakir Naik under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.  Previously, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), Zakir Naik’s NGO based in Mumbai has also been declared an unlawful organization as per the directives of the Union Home Ministry.

It was alleged that Zakir Naik and his connections were allegedly indulging in ‘unlawful activities’ that were proving to be hazardous for the country and its youth.

In an official statement in April this year, the Enforcement Directorate had said that Zakir Naik “through his provocative utterance (is) promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India.”

The statement had also said that “His inflammatory speeches and lectures have inspired and incited a number of Muslim youths in India to commit unlawful activities and terrorist acts.”

All these charges were repeatedly denied by Naik.

Additionally, the Ministry of External Affairs also revoked Zakir Naik’s passport on behest of the NIA earlier this year.

The NIA had also thrice issued notices to Zakir Naik to cooperate and join the investigations. However, he did not comply and did not appear before it.

ALSO READ Special NIA Court issues non-bailable warrant against Islamic Preacher Zakir Naik for his role in a Terror case

Zakir Naik’s NGO has been alleged to hold ‘dubious’ links to an international Islamic TV channel ‘Peace TV’ accused of propagating terrorism. Naik was also alleged to have to transferred IRF’s international funding to the TV channel to make ‘objectionable’ programmes.

As per the Home Ministry, Zakir Naik has made multiple hate speeches that provoke people to engage in terrorist propaganda. It has been previously revealed that a handful of Indian youth allegedly inspired by Naik, have left their homes to join Islamic State forces.

Zakir Naik’s speeches are banned in US, Malaysia, and Canada.

The televangelist, who had fled the country in July last year after his name had surfaced during a probe into the Bangladesh terror attacks, continues to live in Saudi Arabia and is now being probed by the NIA under charges of money laundering and terror funding.

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