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Govt officials were informed of money laundering in banks: Report


Bhupendra Chaubey,CNN-IBN
Mar 15, 2013 at 08:44pm IST

New Delhi: A confidential government investigation report highlighting how several private banks were involved in conversion of black money into white has been accessed by CNN-IBN. The government investigation focussed on a Delhi-based middleman named Abdul Munaf Khan who allegedly deposited cash to the tune of Rs 100 crore in various instalments in private banks like HDFC Bank, ING VYSA Bank, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The report prepared in 2011 was sent to all top government officials including then Finance Minister, the Home Minister, the National Security Advisor and the Directors of the CBI, the ED and the RBI. The detailed report gives specific instances of Munaf investing Rs 100 crore of cash in six months between January and June 2011.

ALSO SEE HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank involved in money laundering: Report

Munaf was picked up by the CBI but released later and the investigation wasn't even completed. The lack of action on this report raises some big questions that the government must answer.

- Why did the government not act on the basis of this report if it was available since 2011?

- Why did the CBI let off the the middleman Munaf without ascertaining whose cash was he really handling?

- Why wasn't any attempt made to seek explanation from any of the banks whose names were mentioned in the government's own investigation?

A sting operation conducted by online magazine Cobrapost across various branches of private financial institutions had revealed how bank employees are accepting black money from customers to convert them into white money. Cobrapost claims that the nationwide operation shows how private banking and insurance affiliates launder money as part of standard procedures.

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