New Delhi: Following the money laundering allegations against it along with a few other private banks, ICICI Bank on Friday suspended 18 of its employees. Earlier, Kotak Mahindra Bank issued a clarification saying none of its employees were involved in money laundering. "We wish to clarify that no such transactions by the alleged person have been routed via Kotak Mahindra Bank," said Kotak Mahindra Group spokesperson reacting to a CNN-IBN story.
CNN-IBN had accessed a confidential government investigation report which highlighted how several private banks were involved in conversion of black money into white. The government investigation was 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 also gives specific instances of Munaf investing Rs 100 crore of cash in six months between January and June 2011. Munaf was picked up by the CBI but was released later and the investigation wasn't even completed.
On Thursday, a sting operation conducted by online magazine 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 showed how private banking and insurance affiliates launder money as part of standard procedures. So far, the sting had shown HDFC Bank and its insurance affiliates offering such services but other banks were also reportedly involved.