New Delhi: In the largest seizure of unaccounted money since demonetisation, the income tax department has found that around Rs 40 crore was deposited in banned currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 at the Kashmere Gate branch of Axis Bank in New Delhi.
The national capital is turning out to be the biggest den of black money with I-T intelligence suspecting that more banks are involved in such money laundering rackets, at a much larger scale. Authorities are also keeping a watch on close associates of some politicians, bureaucrats and industrialists.
The Axis Bank branch and the premises of two of its managers were searched by I-T officials in the last three days and cash and documents were seized, sources said.
A racket has been unearthed operating from old Delhi and Laxmi Nagar areas where some jewellers and entry operators were found collecting and depositing unaccounted money in banks in connivance with bank officials. In the Axis Bank case, the managers were allegedly paid Rs 40 lakh to facilitate ‘under-the-counter’ transactions, sources said.
The illegal notes were deposited in three newly-opened accounts in the Axis Bank branch between November 11 and 22, sources said. The deposits in three accounts amounted to Rs 39.26 crore which were later transferred out of the bank to other accounts through electronic transfers (RTGS), converting the entire unaccounted money into white.
The interrogation of three accused revealed that the bank managers extended special counter facility beyond banking hours for deposits of the banned currency notes.
However, Axis Bank’s official spokesperson said, “The deposits were made in the existing accounts of our customer at Kashmere Gate branch, Delhi.”