Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Sunday, May 06, 2001

Front Page | National | Southern States | Other States | State Elections | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Entertainment | Miscellaneous | Features | Classifieds | Employment | Index | Home

National | Previous | Next

CBI cracks down on 'bank mafia'

KOLKATA, MAY 5. The Central Bureau of Investigation today said it had discovered the existence of a `bank mafia' in Kolkata and Port Blair through which a section of public servants was laundering crores of rupees in black money.

The CBI Additional Director, Mr. U. N. Biswas, said the `mafia,' comprising a section of bankers, was helping corrupt public servants create and operate savings bank accounts and fixed deposits under fictitious names for money-laundering operations in return for money.

FDs had been created in the names of the cricketer, Mr. Sourav Ganguly, the film producer, Mr. Bobby Kapoor, director Mr. David Dhawan, actor-model Mr. Milind Soman and the Bengali actress, Ms. Debashree Roy, besides models Mr. Marc Robinson, Ms. Rhea Pillai and Mr. Rahul Dev.

The scam came to light last month when two persons from Port Blair informed the CBI that 28 high-value FDs had been created at the Indian Overseas Bank's branch there on January 2, 1997. They claimed that the funds invested in the deposits belonged to some public servants of the Andaman and Nicobar islands who had invested their black money under fictitious names.

It was found that the funds for the FDs had been received through bank drafts issued by the IOB's Strand Road branch here.

Eleven savings bank accounts had been opened in that branch in different names, allegedly on introduction of Mr. Sudeep Rai Sharma, son of a public servant in Port Blair. The accounts could have been opened with the help of the then IOB branch manager. Nearly Rs. 7.75 crores had been deposited in those accounts between February 8 and June 7, 1997. From them, nearly Rs. 5.52 crores were sent to Port Blair on November 22 through 63 drafts, drawn in fictitious names. Of the 63 drafts, 27 were used for creating 27 FDs at the Port Blair Branch. Of the rest, three were credited to SB accounts opened at the State Bank of India's Aberdeen Bazar branch. The amount was withdrawn before investigations began on April 17.

The other 33 drafts had been used for creating 33 FDs in various names. They were withdrawn prematurely. A fixed deposit of Rs. 50 crores had been created in the name of one person at IOB, Port Blair, by debiting the amount from the SB account of a fictitious person, Mr. Biswas said. With the connivance of the bank officials, the maturity value or the value of premature withdrawal of the FDs was transferred to the IOB's Salt Lake branch here.

By conspiring with the Branch Managers of the IOB's Port Blair and Salt Lake branches, Mr. Sharma got 28 bankers' cheques issued in the names of the `FD holders.' The cheques were credited to the accounts of the `payees' at the UCO bank's Chennai-20 and Saidapet branch. The CBI had stopped payment of the funds transferred through such cheques.

- PTI

Send this article to Friends by E-Mail


Section  : National
Previous : Cong. asks U.P. Govt. to explain
Next     : ULFA will be crushed, says BJP

Front Page | National | Southern States | Other States | State Elections | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Entertainment | Miscellaneous | Features | Classifieds | Employment | Index | Home

Copyrights © 2001 The Hindu

Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu