New Delhi, Dec 28: A Delhi court on Wednesday sent a branch manager of Kotak Mahindra Bank, arrested on charges of laundering about Rs 35 crore after demonetisation, to Enforcement Directorate custody till January 2. The ED said it was a "huge conspiracy" and the money trail has to be unearthed.
"In view of the facts and circumstances, ED remand of the accused is granted till January 2, 2017," Metropolitan Magistrate Ashok Kumar said while sending accused Ashish Kumar, the Manager of the bank's branch in Kasturba Gandhi Marg in central Delhi, to ED custody.
Ashish was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) late on Thursday night in a criminal case in which nine alleged fake accounts were detected. Deposits worth Rs 35 crore were made in these accounts after demonetisation was announced on November 8.
While seeking his remand for 14 days, the ED told the court that it was a "huge conspiracy" and the money trail and the illegal proceeds of money laundering has to be traced.
It said the accused, in conspiracy with others, had charged huge commission by allowing demonetised currency, amounting to about Rs 35 crore, to be accepted by the bank and had generated pay orders and demand drafts in exchange.
"This was done so that the other accused persons could have new currency notes of the same amount and by opening bank accounts of various companies," the ED said.
The accused opposed the ED's application and claimed innocence. The Enforcement Directorate took over the case and registered an FIR under PMLA after taking cognisance of an FIR of Delhi Police's crime branch in the case.