NEW DELHI: Investigative agencies arrested six people, including two bank employees, on Tuesday for their involvement in the alleged laundering of black money to the tune of Rs 6,000 crore at a Delhi branch of the Bank of Baroda (BOB).
While the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested four people, the CBI arrested the bank’s assistant general manager Suresh Kumar Garg and foreign exchange officer Jainis Dubey, both from the Ashok Vihar Branch. “Investigation revealed they were allegedly involved in facilitating the foreign remittances by violating the laid down procedures and guidelines of Bank of Baroda and thereby facilitating the accused persons in money laundering,” said a CBI officer.
Interrogation of the bank officials reportedly revealed that some of the employees acted as middle-men for companies. ED arrested Kamal Kalra, Chandan Bhatia, Gurucharan Singh Dhawan and Sanjay Aggarwal under section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. An ED official said Kalra handled 12 companies and worked in the Forex department of HDFC bank. Kalra told investigators that he had been helping Bhatia and Aggarwal remit money through Bank of Baroda. He got a commission of 30 to 50 paise per dollar remitted abroad.
Bhatia, the ED official said, was instrumental in forming companies in India. These companies would remit money to companies based in Hong kong. He was instrumental in forming companies at Hong Kong. During interrogation, he revealed he was working with exporter Gurucharan Singh. He has so far revealed that he sent foreign remittances to the tune of Rs 420 crore.
Dhawan, an exporter of finished goods, would get the duty drawback on the exports made from his firms. He was the key figure in the case as he got drawback on the basis of exports overvalued by three times. This drawback was used to dole out commissions at various stages. Investigations revealed that the importer got duty drawback to the tune of Rs 15 crore in six to seven months.
Aggarwal was working with importers and had formed many firms in India from which he would send foreign remittance in advance from Bank of Baroda in lieu of imports that were never done.
He also formed companies in Hong Kong and Dubai, to transfer required amounts — difference in import value to save import duty — into bank accounts of the importers. He had sent foreign remittances worth Rs 430 crore through Bank of Baroda.
The official said the Bank of Baroda on Monday informed them that the total amount deposited in the 59 accounts involved in the case was Rs 5,151 crore and only 6.66 per cent (Rs 343 crore) of this amount had been deposited in cash, Rs 4,808 crore coming through banking channels.