7 Crores In 9 Accounts At Kolkata Bank, Probe Begins

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Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate, which is probing several bank accounts in Kolkata, has been taken aback by nine. Officials say 8 of them at United Bank of India’s Metiabruz branch are Jan Dhan accounts – their owners are people who earn less than Rs. 10,000 a month. The bank, however, has denied the accounts are Jan Dhan accounts.

The accounts normally had little money. Suddenly, nearly 10 days after the government’s November 8 announcement on cash ban, Rs. 6.9 crore poured in.

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One account holder is a 25-year-old woman who was astonished when told her she had Rs. 60 lakh in the bank, sources said.

The agency has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to join the probe to see if the accounts were being used by some powerful businessmen in the area to turn black money into white. Metiabruz has a booming garment industry.

At the United Bank of India foundation day celebrations on Monday, managing director Pawan Bajaj said, “The matter is being investigated. All bank accounts are KYC compliant. We have details of the accounts and branch level investigations are on.”

After the accounts came under the ED scanner, the two bank officials have been in and out of ED’s office.

The suspect accounts allegedly belong to workers there who make less than Rs. 10,000 a month. So, where did Rs. 6.9 crore come from? A pharmacy owner on the ground floor of the bank said, “We have heard the CBI is coming.”

Mr Shamshul Ansari, the local Trinamool Congress councillor, says the entire garments industry runs on cash. “Who has black money here? Mr Modi does, with his 10 lakh rupee suit,” Mr Ansari thunders.