The Income Tax department has detected huge alleged discrepancies in the transactions of a Rajkot-based cooperative bank where Rs 871 crore deposits were made, over 4,500 new accounts opened and more than five dozen accounts having same mobile number initiated, making it one of the biggest cases of black fund generation post November 8.
The department’s Ahmedabad probe wing has now initiated action under tax laws and has sought full details from the bank after it conducted survey operations against it sometime back and found large irregularities.
Officials said the department’s investigation till now has found that cash deposits of Rs 871 crore, majorly using the old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, was made in this bank between November 9-December 30 last year while Rs 108 crore was withdrawn during the same period in a highly suspicious manner not commensurate with the bank’s activities during the same period in 2015 or at other times.
The sleuths have identified at least 25 high value cash deposits post demonetisation where Rs 30 crore monies have been transacted in an alleged suspicious and unsatisfactory manner and in accounts with purported weak KYC norms in place.
An I-T analysis report prepared in this regard states that Rs 10 crore funds were deposited in a number of “dormant” accounts post the currency scrap, including in that of a petroleum firm where Rs 2.53 crore was deposited.
What has startled the taxman has been the fact that a total of “4,551 new accounts were opened in the bank post demonetisation as against the average 5,000 of such accounts usually opened in the full year while 62 of these were opened using one mobile number.”
It was detected, they said, that there were blatant discrepancies in the pay-in slips filled to make the deposits as none of them had PAN numbers quoted, many had no signatures of the depositor even as none had any documents to reflect the source of these amounts.
“It was found that the son of bank’s ex-director has received Rs 1 crore through cash deposits in 30 bank accounts. All the pay-in slips were filled by the same person.
“Also, the mother of the vice-chairman of the bank has received 64 lakh of cash deposits which have ultimately been transferred to a jeweller,” the report alleged and added the funds moved through RTGS and other banking transfer channels. Officials said the statements of these two people will be recorded soon.
A particular instance mentioned in the report mentions that “large sum of cash deposits made in newly opened accounts were linked through common address or phone numbers including Rs 1.22 crore deposits in 16 bank accounts newly opened and linked to each other.”
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The case of the Rajkot-based cooperative bank in Gujarat has become one of the most prominent when it comes to generation and circulation of black money post the currency ban, they said, adding the department is still investigating the case from multiple angles.
The department has been conducting multiple operations of search, survey and seizure to check huge financial crimes post the notes ban announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 last year.