Pradeep Thakur, TNN 12 November 2009, 02:45am IST
NEW DELHI: This seems to be the biggest slip by an Indian financial institution which is supposed to maintain heightened vigilance on suspicious and high-value cash transactions. At least Rs 640 crore was deposited in cash by one of the alleged front companies of former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda in a state-owned bank in Mumbai. The bank failed to trigger an alert to countless intelligence agencies tasked to keep a tabIncome Tax officials investigating the case have found documentary evidence of how the huge cash transactions took place in Mumbai between 2006 and 2008 when Koda was at the helm of affairs in Jharkhand. Koda's alleged frontman Manoj Punamia deposited Rs 640 crore in cash in Union Bank of India at its Zaveri Bazar branch between November 2006 and December 2008. The cash transactions were carried out by a Balaji group company -- Balaji Universal Trade. The same group operated by Punamia was earlier found to be behind hawala and legal money transfers to the tune of $110 million to other front companies of the cartel based in Dubai. Sources said Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also found details of the cartel's land investment in Bangkok worth Rs 100 crore. The agency is examining an accused Vikas Sinha at their Delhi office while Punamia is being questioned jointly by I-T and ED officials in Mumbai. Strange details have emerged during the cross-examination of accused and verification of documents seized during raids. Balaji Universal Trade, that had made huge cash deposits, is believed to have made Rs 991 crore of transactions with Union Bank alone. Sleuths are yet to open many sealed almirahs and lockers that are likely to throw more surprises. Suspicious transactions going unnoticed have unnerved the government which, for the first time, has realised that the anti-money laundering mechanism it had set up in the wake of global pressure post-9/11 has failed to give results. As part of 'know your customer' guidelines issued by RBI, it is mandatory for all banks and financial institutions to monitor transactions of high-risk individuals and their intermediaries on a day-to-day basis and report all suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), under Union finance ministry, within seven days of getting such information or be liable for punitive action. It's surprising that the Mumbai bank failed to generate an alert when such huge transactions were being carried out by a relatively unknown firm, especially when the bank is believed to have appointed a principal officer located at its head office who is responsible for monitoring and reporting all suspicious transactions to FIU, apart from maintaining close liaison with enforcement agencies. All high-risk accounts have to be subjected to intensified monitoring with periodical review of their risk categorisation in the fight against money laundering and combating financing of terrorism. As per the RBI directive, banks should verify the identify of the person and seek information about the sources of funds before accepting a suspicious customer or a concern. The decision to open an account of such entity should be taken at a senior level and such accounts should be subjected to enhanced monitoring on an ongoing basis.
Rs 640 cr deposited in CASH ?That is huge huge amt by any standard.How Madhu Koda was able to gather this much in Cash?How much bribe he has taken to sell the Mines in Jharkhand?And when we see Rs 640 cr as bribe as there can be no other source to get Rs 640 in 2 years,he do not owe any business where he can say that he got that much profit nor any business will fetch this much big Net Profit in 2 years, Rs 640 cr.....that is just unbelievable...... Now if we just try to analyse and think that if Madhu Koda has taken this Rs 640 cr or Rs.991 cr as bribe for allocating the Mines in Jharkhand or any project given to Co then what will be the profit from all those allocation he made to entity or person?Can anyone imagine?If the bribe portion is Rs 991 cr and much much more , as he is also having Mines in Liberia and Land in Bangkok worth Rs 100 cr.....! I have just to imagine what other MP's would be having how much money of BRIBE.... If a normal person would put a Cash of just even over Rs 25,000 then all questions are asked forget 1 lac in Cash....What is the meaning of all those rules like "Know the Customer"! India main sab chalta hai....these money needs to be used for Educaation and Health instead it has gone to some individual.The anamoly is that he is a single individual...only one name...Madhu Koda.....how much a person will need in his whole LIFE?Include his whole family? How much one need?If someone is earning ,like say Big Industrial House ,like Tata, Ril, Birla, they give something to the country and society, by the way of employment , Taxes...but an individual trying to gather this much amount is just seems like there is NO END FOR GREED.....God Save India....I can't imagine how much money must have sucked from the system by how many MP's and MLA's in 60 years of independence...how India can make a progress?I think even with all these coming we are doing reasonably good on economc front then how much India can prosper if all these bribery etc is stopped........