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Politicians, policemen named in FIR against matka gambling

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Panaji: The Goa Police Crime Branch has filed an FIR against Goa politicians, police officials, two newspapers and over 1,100 matka gambling bookies and masterminds of a gambling operation based in Gujarat.

The First Information Report (FIR) was filed on the directions of the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday, following a petition filed by activist Kashinath Shetye and four other petitioners.

Shetye had pleaded that police should probe the nexus between police, politicians and the operators of matka gambling, an illegal but popular form of lottery played across Goa.

Matka is an illegal form of gambling that has gained immense popularity in Mumbai and Konkan region since the 1970s. It functions six days a week, like a lottery, where lucky numbers are generated twice daily.

Matka’s popularity stems from the fact that one can wager a bet of even Re.1. The matka industry in Goa alone is pegged at several thousand crores of rupees.

Over the last few years, several legislators have demanded that matka gambling should be legalised, arguing that it could help the government earn additional revenue.

According to police estimates, the annual turnover of the matka industry in the three states of Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat is around Rs.10,000 crore.

The petitioner had also argued that matka was a regular source of extortion for police, who had allowed the gambling to proliferate in the state.

The crime branch has now filed the FIR against a politician named Kiran, unnamed minister, other politicians, two newspapers and police officials, apart from matka operators based in Gujarat, from where the gambling operation is controlled.

The FIR also names a matka operator named Parekh alias Budo from Goa, 1,100 matka bookies and two local newspapers which used to carry results of the matka lottery, which the petitioner claimed was against the law.

The crime branch has been directed by the high court to file a status report on the action taken against the gambling operations every six months.

(IANS)

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Punjab National Bank detects $1.8 bn fraud at a Mumbai branch, Links to Nirav Modi

Punjab National Bank, the second largest public sector bank in India

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Punjab National Bank is India's second largest bank. Wikimedia Commons
Punjab National Bank is India's second largest bank. Wikimedia Commons
  • Punjab National bank has detected a $1.8 billion fraud
  • The fraud happened in their Mumbai branch
  • The matter has been referred to law enforcement

Punjab National Bank, the second largest public sector bank in India, has detected a $1.8 billion fraud in one of its branches here, the bank said in a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges on Wednesday.

Punjab National Bank experiences a fraud of $1.8 bn.
Punjab National Bank experiences a fraud of $1.8 bn.

“The bank has detected some fraudulent and unauthorised transactions (messages) in one of its branch in Mumbai for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance,” the filing by the bank said.

It had quoted the quantum of such transactions was to the tune of around $1,771.69 million (around Rs 11,515 crore).

The amount of fraudulent transactions is equivalent to eight times the bank’s net income of about Rs 1,320 crore ($206 million).

Also Read: Raghuram Rajan: The Man Who Revolutionized The Indian Banking System

This case has happened at a time when the Indian banking system is already grappling to tackle its swelling non-performing assets.

“Based on these transactions other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers abroad. In the bank these transactions are contingent in nature and liability arising out of these on the bank shall be decided based on the law and genuineness of underlying transactions,” the filing said.

Punjab National Bank's Mumbai branch is now under high scrutiny. Wikimedia Commons
Punjab National Bank’s Mumbai branch is now under high scrutiny. Wikimedia Commons

The bank informed: “The matter is already referred to law enforcement agencies to examine and book the culprits as per law of the land.”

On February 5, the Central Bureau of Investigation had booked billionaire diamond service provider Nirav Modi, his brother, wife and an enterprise companion for allegedly cheating Punjab National Bank of over Rs 280.70 crore last year.

Also Read: Con man in Delhi Duped Amazon for over Rs. 50 Lakh; Arrested by Delhi Police for Fraud

Following the complaint, the CBI registered a FIR under the Indian Penal Code sections related to criminal conspiracy, cheating and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the four.

The stock of Punjab National Bank was trading at Rs 149.20 per share, down 7.70 percent at the BSE at 1.59 p.m. IANS

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