Money laundering allegation: Axis Bank initiates probe

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 16, 2013 07:40 hrs

Private sector lender Axis Bank today said it has asked 16 concerned officials to report to 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 concerned employees to report to administrative offices," sources in the Axis Bank said.

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

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

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

The footage taken in 'Operation Red Spider', purportedly shows a number of senior executives of the three banks verbally agreeing to take huge amounts 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 in a statement had said "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."

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