CBI unearths money laundering scam of Rs. 424 crore
CBI has lodged an FIR against 19 firms for money laundering via shell firms. These firms have sent over Rs. 424 crore in foreign remittances, making around 700 transactions. CBI said that in 2015, certain unnamed officials of Punjab National Bank, Mint Street branch, Chennai took part in this act along with the accused firms, which were account holders in those branches. Here's more.
What's it all about?
In its FIR, CBI wrote, "...in furtherance of the conspiracy, the above said companies were sending foreign exchange to Hong Kong without any genuine business transactions." The accounts, which were opened in that PNB's Chennai branch, were used for the sole purpose of sending advance foreign remittances; the unidentified officials directly helped in carrying out this scam.
How did it take place?
The FIR says, "The modus operandi was that the customers got remittances from various other banks to their accounts by way of RTGS (real time gross settlement). The customer presented their request with a quotation issued by foreign suppliers for 100 per cent advance remittances." It was carefully kept within the remittance threshold limit to circumvent regulations and scrutiny by concerned authorities.
How big is the scam?
From January 2015 to May 2015, 700 advance remittances were made for imports via fraudulent accounts totaling to Rs. 424.58 crore. They were routed via NOSTRO (foreign currency account held by a bank with an overseas bank) account that PNB maintains with HSBC, New York. These RTGS credits were traced back to Mumbai-based credit cooperative societies and others.Share this timeline