December 1, 2021

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

I-T searches carried out at Maharashtra based Urban Credit Cooperative Bank

New Delhi : The Centre on Saturday said that Income Tax (I-T) Department recently carried out ‘search and seizure operations at locations associated with an Urban Credit Cooperative Bank located in Maharashtra.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the operation was carried out on October 27 at the bank’s Headquarter and one of the branches.

Besides, the residence of the bank’s Chairman and one of its directors were also covered.

“The analysis of bank data on ‘Core Banking Solutions’ (CBS) and the statements of key persons recorded during the search action has revealed the glaring irregularities in opening the bank accounts.”

“More than 1,200 new bank accounts were opened in the said branch without PAN. The investigations have revealed that these bank accounts were opened without following KYC norms and all account opening forms are filled in by the bank staff and they have put their signature or thumb impressions.”

As per the statement, in all these accounts, multiple cash deposits each of exact denomination of Rs 1.9 lakh, were made totalling to Rs 53.72 crore.

“Out of these, more than 700 bank accounts have been identified which were opened in series, where cash deposits of more than Rs 34.10 crore were made immediately within 7 days of opening of bank accounts mainly during the period August 2020 to May 2021.”

“These deposits have been structured to avoid mandatory PAN requirement for cash deposits over Rs 2 lakh. The money has been subsequently converted into fixed deposits in the same branch.”

Furthermore, upon local enquiries in few cases of such account holders, it was demonstrated that these persons are not aware of cash deposits in the bank and categorically denied any knowledge of such bank accounts or even the fixed deposits.

“The Chairman, CMD and the manager of the branch, could not explain the source of cash deposits and accepted that these were done at the behest of one of the directors of the bank, who is a prominent local businessman engaged in trading of grains.”

“On the basis of the evidences gathered and statements recorded, the entire amount of Rs 53.72 crore has been restrained.”

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