Rs 100 crore deposited in over 40 ‘fake accounts’ in Axis Bank branch: I-T dept
Income tax officials raided an Axis Bank branch in Chandni Chowk beginning Thursday evening and said on Friday the operation unearthed more than 40 fake accounts in which large sums were deposited in old notes after November 8.
About Rs 100 crore was found in dubious accounts at the branch, reports said, but tax officials said the investigation was on and final figures would emerge later.
Shopkeepers in the vicinity said three people wearing suits entered the bank around 4pm on Thursday and the shutters were put down, to be opened temporarily later to allow female employees to leave. Other bank staff and the tax officials stayed overnight, examining records and CCTV footage. The branch opened to the public from 1pm to 3.30pm on Friday but the tax officials stayed there.
“We have been conducting search operations based on our own intelligence reports. Suspicious transactions have been undertaken. There have been huge deposits made and we want to trace the source (of the money deposited) and the account holders,” a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified, told Hindustan Times.
Axis Bank said it would provide “full co-operation to the investigating authorities”.
“The bank is committed to following the highest standards of corporate governance and has zero tolerance towards any deviation on the part of any of its employees from the set model code of conduct. Strict action will be taken against any employee found deviating from the guidelines,” the country’s third largest private sector lender said.
A man called to assist the officials with the CCTV footage said there were about 20 people inside.
“Some officials are seeing files, examining camera footage inside the manager’s room. We saw that the officials of the tax department and bank employees slept in the branch itself. The women were allowed to go home,” he said.
Earlier, the bank suspended 19 officials, including six from Delhi, over their alleged involvement in illegal practices after demonetisation. The bank suspended four employees on Tuesday from its Kashmere Gate branch while two others from the same office were suspended a week before.
On Sunday, the Enforcement Directorate arrested two Axis Bank managers in Delhi and seized 3kg gold bars in connection with a money-laundering probe. The bank has hired a private firm for a forensic audit.