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Demonetisation blues: Axis Bank suspends some suspicious accounts

December 19, 2016 16:58 IST

The agency's probe till now found that huge monies were transferred through RTGS transfers to some shell companies including a case where the director of such a firm was a petty labourer

Hit by irregularities by some of its employees, Axis Bank, on Monday, said it has taken "unprecedented step" of temporarily suspending some of the suspicious accounts and has a rigorous compliance procedure.

The bank further said that it has already filed Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-IND) about the potentially suspect accounts which were later probed by investigative agencies.

"We understand that the visit by the investigative agencies to our branches has been pursuant to the cash transaction report (CTRs) and STRs filed by the bank under the extant KYC & AML norms as applicable to the bank," Axis Bank said in a statement.

The bank has also filed additional STRs with FIU proactively, it said.

Axis said it has rigorous compliance procedures and has also gone ahead and applied all its analytic capability to identify accounts that might have exhibited suspicious activity since demonetisation.

"The bank has also taken the unprecedented step of temporarily suspending some of these accounts. We would like to assure you that Axis Bank stays committed to the success of the government’s initiative of demonetisation and facilitating transition towards digitalised economy," the statement said.

Earlier this week, the Enforcement Directorate arrested two Axis Bank managers in New Delhi and seized 3 kg gold bars in connection with its money laundering probe in a racket of illegally converting old notes in connivance with banking authorities.

The agency's probe till now, after it registered a criminal complaint under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on November 30, found that huge monies were transferred through RTGS transfers to some shell companies including a case where the director of such a firm was a "petty labourer".

The Income Tax department also conducted a survey at an Axis bank branch in Delhi in connection with its probe into possible tax evasion by way of illegal exchange of demonetised currency notes.

Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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