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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Axis Bank initiates probe in money laundering allegations

Private sector lender Axis Bank said that it has asked 16 officials concerned to report to the administrative offices, pending investigation which has been initiated with regard to alleged money laundering activities.

“The bank has initiated an internal enquiry. Pending outcome of the enquiry, we have asked 16 employees concerned to report to the administrative offices,” Axis Bank sources said.

The country’s three largest private banks — ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank — were accused of indulging in money laundering both within the country and outside, with an online portal Cobrapost claiming that a sting operation conducted by it has revealed a money laundering scam.

Yesterday, ICICI Bank had suspended 18 officials concerned till the investigations are completed.

Cobrapost had played the contents of a purported video recording of the officials of private banks including Axis Bank, allegedly agreeing to receive unverified sum of cash and put them in their investment schemes and benami accounts in violation of anti-money laundering laws.

‘Operation Red Spider’

The footage taken in ‘Operation Red Spider’ purportedly shows a number of senior executives of the three banks verbally agreeing to take huge amount of cash from the undercover reporter and putting them into a variety of long-term investment plans so that the black money ultimately is converted into white.

However, neither any account was opened nor any cash deposited in these banks.

Soon after the revelation, the bank had said in a statement: “Axis Bank has systems and processes that are robust and fully compliant with extant regulations...we are confident that all our businesses will live up to the high standards we have set for ourselves as a bank.”

Source: thehindubusinessline


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