Insight Online News
New Delhi, Nov 6 : Claiming glaring irregularities in opening 1,200 bank accounts and depositing Rs 53.72 crore, the Income Tax (I-T) department has carried out search and seizure operations on the headquarters of Urban Credit Cooperative Bank in Maharashtra and frozen the dubious accounts.
In an official statement, the I-T department on Saturday said that the residence of the bank Chairman and one of its directors were also covered in the search operations conducted on October 27.
“On the basis of the evidences gathered and statements recorded, the entire amount of Rs 53.72 crore has been restrained. Further investigations are in progress,” it said.
As per the analysis of bank data on Core Banking Solutions (CBS) and the statements of key persons recorded during the search action it has been revealed that the new accounts were opened without following the KYC (Know Your Customer) norms.
“In 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,” the Income Tax department said.
Further, the deposits were structured in a way 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.
The persons whose names were used to open the accounts have denied any knowledge of such bank accounts or even the fixed deposits during local enquiry.
The tax department said that Chairman of the bank and concerned branch manager 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.