Demonetisation: Are bankers diverting funds, laundering money?

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The role of bank officials has come under the scanner, following over 200 raids by the I-T department, which led to seizure of Rs 17.2 crore in new currency notes, said reports.

Crores of rupees in new currency notes are being seized despite stringent limits on cash withdrawals points towards corrupt bankers diverting the money. During a recent raid at a branch of a private bank in Delhi's Chandni Chowk area, the I-T department came across 44 fake accounts and over Rs 100 crores laundered in them.

Queues outside banks

The investigation has revealed many unscrupulous practices. Here is a list of most probable ways in which bankers can dupe the system to facilitate illegal transfer of currency:

Misuse of personal information

PAN number and Aadhar card details can be misused by unscrupulous bankers to make illegal transfers. Details of a customer, being turned away citing cash crunch, can later be used to carry out transactions. Last month, a Bengaluru woman had complained that when she went to bank, she was told that Aadhar number had already been used for transaction.

Why are ATMs running dry?

Are so many ATMs without cash due actual crunch or because the money has been diverted somewhere else? Speculations are rife as to how so many ATMs are cashless, forcing people across nation to stand in queues for hours.

Low-balance Jan Dhan accounts

In a bid to include everyone in the banking system, the government earlier pushed people to open zero-balance accounts. Even incentives, such as gas subsidy credited directly to accounts, were announced so that more and more people open accounts. Many of these accounts had either minimum or zero balance. These accounts were used by bankers to deposit the money and convert it from black to white.

Commission to exchange notes

There were reports of bankers demanding commission to exchange old notes without proper identification. Bankers are said to have exchanged huge sums in exchange for hefty commissions.

Demand Drafts

The practice of DDs being used to convert black money to white also came to light. Such cases involved DDs being made by paying in demonetised notes, then cancelling them, and receiving payments in new currency notes.

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