New Delhi: Special Investigations website Cobrapost has revealed that 23 banks and insurance companies have been engaged in money laundering. Among the 23 banks involved are mostly PSU banks including some big names like the State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, IDBI, Oriental Bank and Dena Bank.
Cobrapost editor Aniruddha Bahal claims that both banks and the insurance companies flouted the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) rules, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines and KYC norms. The website alleges that banks accepted unaccounted cash and invested in insurance products thereby hinting at a two-way street between the two.
The sting operation also alleges that splitting of transactions among banks happened to avoid detection. Earlier this year, Cobrapost across various branches of private financial institutions had revealed how bank employees were accepting black money from customers to convert them into white money. Cobrapost claimed that the nationwide operation shows how private banking and insurance affiliates launder money as part of standard procedures.
The sting also showed that money laundering services were openly being offered even to walk in customers who wished to launder their money and a variety of options were being offered.