Axis Bank found itself under the scanner of the Income Tax department again on Thursday, after deposits of Rs 89 crore were found in 19 suspicious accounts. According to India Today, quite a lot of irregularities were found in the Ahmedabad branch of the bank with a suspicious money trail leading to bullion builders. It was also reported that 4 bank officials were under the Income Tax department’s scanner for their involvement in the case. Earlier this month, the I-T department had raided an Axis Bank branch in Central Delhi’s Chandni Chowk and reportedly found out about 44 fake accounts. According to reports, I-T officials had said that about Rs 100 crore in old notes had been deposited in the accounts since November 8, the date of the announcement of demonetisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an objective to curb down the flow of black money in the country. According to reports, a sum total of Rs 450 crores have been deposited in the Chandni Chowk Branch of the Axis Bank since the ban was announced, I-T officials added.
The officials said that these 44 fake accounts had been created by the usage of forged documents. they said that the investigators suspected that the money might have been routed to buy gold. This is the second such raid to have been reported at a branch of Axis Bank. Earlier last month, I-T officials had nabbed two people with Rs 3.5 crores of cash in new currency notes while they tried to come out of the Kashmere Gate branch in Central Delhi.
The Income Tax Department had again conducted a raid at an Axis Bank branch in Noida and unearthed Rs 60 crore from the accounts of 20 shell companies. Axis Bank MD and CEO Shikha Sharma had said that the recent media reports on the conduct of the employees had left her embarrassed and upset. She assured that they had taken strict actions against such employees and would continue to do so in every case of divergence from their code of conduct.
Meanwhile, Rajesh Dahiya, Executive Director , Corporate Centre, Axis Bank released a statement follwing this report. According to the statement, the Axis Bank operation and audit team and the independent forensic agency KPMG were working throughout the day, appropriately highlighting the suspicious transactions to be shared with relevant investigative agencies. The bank also said that they had already filed 17 STRs over a period of time for the cases under discussion including several STRs during last one month. Additional information as required has also been proactiveky shared with the investigative agencies to help them in their efforts, the bank statement added. The bank further said that they would continue to file STRs on various scenarios that might lead to suspicious transactions. “It is also important to understand that while the complete banking industry is working tirelessly to make the government’s initiative of demonetisation and digitalisation successful, action by some unscrupulous elements to circumvent laid out processes will not be tolerated. The Bank will take action as and when any malpractices by employees are confirmed”, the statement concluded.