Fly-by-night IT firms make hay
Just some of the cases mentioned in legal notices sent by SADEEA to the Finance Ministry, Reserve Bank of India and economic offences wings (EOWs) of state police departments in over 10 states. Tales of this nature have also been pouring in from Pune, Chennai, Bhubaneshwar, Vijaywada, Visakhapatnam, Varanasi, Delhi and Gurgaon.
With the huge demand for jobs in the IT-BPO sector, fly-by-night operators are having a field day swindling individuals and companies. "It is a fraud totalling Rs 15,000 crore and three lakh IT professionals are affected," SADEEA president Duvuri Ravi Kumar said.
"These frauds are perpetuated because of the nexus between private and foreign banks, foreign agencies and touts," Kumar has alleged in his letter dated March 26 to the RBI. The apex bank’s deputy general manager V Venkat Mohan acknowledged receipt of Kumar’s letter, stating that the "complaint is under active consideration".
The SADEEA, which has also sent complaints to the President and Prime Minister, is now planning to move the Supreme Court. The absence of a regulatory authority to monitor LC operations enables forgeries of this sort, SADEEA says in its letter.
It has also expressed apprehension that anti-national elements are allowing the inflow of unaccounted foreign currency by way of circulating fake LCs in collusion with Indian banks, at grave risk to national safety. In response, ICICI Bank spokesperson Rahul Virkar termed these allegations "unsubstantial and baseless".
A government official said LC-related frauds are governed by the UCPDC-500 rules, with the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce as the arbitration authority. India does not have a centralized monitoring mechanism to keep track of such crimes.