Bank of Baroda money laundering case: Court extends by six days ED custody of four accused

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New Delhi | Published: October 17, 2015 8:43:52 PM

A Delhi court today extended by six days the ED custody of four persons, including an HDFC bank employee, arrested on money laundering charges in the Rs 6,000-crore remittances case of a Bank of Baroda (BoB) branch.

P S Jayakumar, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Baroda CEOED had said they have to ascertain ?the failure of Bank of Baroda to exercise due diligence while making remittances for imports as credit reports of suppliers was not found to have been obtained timely.?

A Delhi court today extended by six days the ED custody of four persons, including an HDFC bank employee, arrested on money laundering charges in the Rs 6,000-crore remittances case of a Bank of Baroda (BoB) branch.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the court that it has ascertained the money trail of Rs 600 crore and it wanted to further interrogate the accused to trace the rest of the amount.

Accused Kamal Kalra, working with the HDFC Bank’s foreign exchange division, Chandan Bhatia, Gurucharan Singh Dhawan and Sanjay Aggarwal were produced by ED before Additional Sessions Judge Manoj Jain, who extended their police remand for another six days till October 23.

“Keeping in mind the seriousness of the matter and the overall facts and circumstances of the case, police remand is extended for a period of another six days,” the judge said.

ED special public prosecutor Naveen Kumar Matta told the court that the agency has ascertained the money trail of Rs 600 crore out of a total of Rs 6,000 crore. He said that the agency needs to ascertain the remaining money trail for which custodial interrogation was required.

Matta said that the allegation were grave in nature and the case is of a serious magnitude as it involves a huge amount of Rs 6,000 crore.

Seeking extension of police remand of four accused, the agency said that the documents related to the case were voluminous in nature and they have to recover various other documents as well.

Meanwile, the counsel appearing for the accused persons opposed the ED’s plea for extension of police remand saying that they have already been in custody for the past four days and there was no need for their further custodial interrogation.

On October 13, the court had remanded the four accused to four day police custody after ED had submitted that their custodial interrogation was required for recovering Rs 6,000 crore of “advance import remittances made through 59 newly opened current accounts without ensuring compliance of banks guidelines/KYC and ascertaining heavy cash receipts made in newely opened current accounts and concealment of proceeds by the accused.”

The ED counsel had said questioning of these accused was required for ascertaining beneficiary of forex transactions with incorrect exchange rates on many occasions by them and for identifying the other beneficiaries.

ED had also said they have to ascertain “the failure of Bank of Baroda to exercise due diligence while making remittances for imports as credit reports of suppliers was not found to have been obtained timely.”

The court had earlier noted in its order, “It is apparent from the record brought by investigating officer that the proceeds of crime involved in this case are more than Rs 6,000 crores. It is also clear that detailed interrogation and investigation is required to unearth the complex modus operandi and roots of the syndicate involved in the crime.”

ED had arrested the four accused on October 13 while calling it a case of trade-based money laundering where accused traders evade custom duties and taxes to generate slush funds.

According to ED sources, all the accused were alleged middlemen for at least 15 fake companies, out of the total 59 which were involved in perpetrating the economic crime unearthed recently and also being probed by the CBI.

They have been arrested for the alleged offences under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act(PMLA).

The ED counsel had said questioning of these accused was required for ascertaining beneficiary of forex transactions with incorrect exchange rates on many occasions by them and for identifying the other beneficiaries.

ED had also said they have to ascertain “the failure of Bank of Baroda to exercise due diligence while making remittances for imports as credit reports of suppliers was not found to have been obtained timely.”

The court had earlier noted in its order, “It is apparent from the record brought by investigating officer that the proceeds of crime involved in this case are more than Rs 6,000 crores. It is also clear that detailed interrogation and investigation is required to unearth the complex modus operandi and roots of the syndicate involved in the crime.”

ED had arrested the four accused on October 13 while calling it a case of trade-based money laundering where accused traders evade custom duties and taxes to generate slush funds.

According to ED sources, all the accused were alleged middlemen for at least 15 fake companies, out of the total 59 which were involved in perpetrating the economic crime unearthed recently and also being probed by the CBI.

They have been arrested for the alleged offences under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act(PMLA).

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