13 Mumbai firms used banks to transfer Rs 2,252 crore abroad: CBI

According to the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Stelkon Infratel was formed in May 2013.

Written by Khushboo Narayan | Mumbai | Updated: May 16, 2017 8:13 am
money transfer, illegal money transfer, mumbai illegal money trasfer, mumbai illegal firms, neft transaction, fraud neft transaction, indian express news, buisness news, india news CBI Headquarters. (File Photo)

THE CBI has filed an FIR against 13 firms, including a tax consultancy and market research entity registered at a one-room office in south Mumbai, and unknown public servants for allegedly using six banks to illegally transfer Rs 2,252 crore abroad between August 2015 and February 2016 through fraudulent imports.

According to the FIR, Stelkon Infratel Pvt Ltd and 12 of its group firms submitted forged bills of entry of imports to Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, State Bank of Hyderabad, Corporation Bank, Central Bank of India and Axis Bank and remitted money abroad through real time gross settlement (RTGS) and national electronic fund transfer (NEFT).

According to the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Stelkon Infratel was formed in May 2013. Its authorised capital and paid up capital is Rs 1 lakh each, and the firm is involved in legal, accounting, auditing tax consultancy and market research activities.

The FIR states that Stelkon Infratel carried out 187 transactions in Punjab National Bank alone to remit Rs 463.74 crore abroad against 25 import consignments with a declared value of only Rs 3.14 crore. “The amount remitted by these firms through banks is around Rs 2252.82 crore while the value of actual import was to the tune of only Rs 24.64 crore,” the FIR states.

The 12 group firms under the CBI scanner are: Apolla Enterprises, Kundan Trading, Disney International, Anek Trading Pvt Ltd, Lubeez Enterprises, Pawan Enterprise, Lemon Trading, Padilite Traders, Fine Touch Impex, Azure Enterprises, Seabird Enterprises and Iconic Enterprises.

The FIR states that “…the accused firms entered into conspiracy with unknown bank officials for trade based money laundering….” “Prima facie it appears that the banks have not exercised any due diligence in verifying the genuineness of the importers and the documents that they have submitted during the request for remittances. There appears to be no cross checking regarding the veracity of the bill of entry before permitting the amount to be remitted,” says the FIR.

The trade-based money laundering allegedly orchestrated by Stelkon Infratel was first unearthed by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in 2016.

According to sources, the DRI probe found that Stelkon Infratel was being operated from a one-room office in Masjid Bunder. The other group firms, which operated current accounts in the banks, were floated using the Importer Exporter Code registered at fictitious addresses, the sources said.

The DRI, too, has alleged that the banks remitted money without conducting due diligence or carrying out the necessary suspicious cash transaction reporting (STR/CTR) to the financial intelligence unit-India (FIU-IND).

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  1. L
    l s
    May 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm
    First , we should ask the RBI and the Finance Minister as to why 75 of the ATM's are non-funtional, that too after demonitisation. One sees a board with " NO MONEY " hanging on these ATM's. What are these govt departments doing since the last few months. What is Mr Jaitley doing in this matter. He is only interested in getting his work done by hook or crook, then cares a about the public or their suffering.
    Reply
    1. R
      rrao
      May 16, 2017 at 1:29 pm
      We have great analytics post facto. After the money and the culprit flies we get wise. Then we end up asking our embassies post 'missing' ads, like 'Please come home. Fin min is distressed, ED is not eating. Will find an amicable solution' etc. Then, we appoint high level committee consisting of the very same officials whose duty it was to prevent or stop such deeds.
      Reply
      1. R
        rrao
        May 16, 2017 at 1:29 pm
        We have great analytics post facto. After the money and the culprit flies we get wise. Then we end up asking our embassies post 'missing' ads, like 'Please come home. Fin min is distressed, ED is not eating. Will find an amicable solution' etc. Then, we appoint high level committee consisting of the very same officials whose duty it was to prevent or stop such deeds.
        Reply
        1. A
          Apte
          May 16, 2017 at 12:58 pm
          1. This news report is quite revea . It is clear that it is not very difficult to get support of the officials of public sector banks (PSBs) and cheat the banks. Further the functioning of internal audit department in these banks appears to weak and hence detection of a fraud, like the reported here, never happens in time. Is there a belief that among a section of the officers of PSBs that they would never be caught for their involvement in frauds? 2. An earlier report about one Vijay Choudhary which appeared in IE some two weeks ago was also about officers of PSBs who issued bank guarantees to him without due diligence. 3. One wonders whether Enforcement Directorate has to set a branch office in all head offices of PSBs. When can we expect that all those who are involved in major frauds in PSBs would be brought to book?
          Reply
          1. T
            T DUTTA
            May 16, 2017 at 12:17 pm
            EVEN AUDITORS OF PRIVATE,NON NATIONALISED BANKS MUST BE APPOINTED BY RESERVE BANK--suitable legislation should be brought in to make these structural changes
            Reply
            1. B
              Batra Hospital
              May 16, 2017 at 12:17 pm
              Greeting from Batra Hospital We are urgently in need of kidney donors for the sum of $450,000,00, contact Dr. Manoj Thomas Call or What-sup for more details: Phone: 9751581857 WhatsApp: 919751581857
              Reply
              1. T
                T DUTTA
                May 16, 2017 at 12:15 pm
                ALL BANK AUDITORS MUST BE APPOINTED BY RESERVE BANK--100 PER CENT----structural changes are necessary
                Reply
                1. L
                  l s
                  May 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm
                  Let's see what Arun Jaitley has to say on this matter. For, in demonitisation, many hundreds of bank officials were involved in wrong doings. Only a few were suspended. This is the actual picture of the finance ministry and the bank officials. Today, these bank officials are no:1 thieves, all in white dresses comming to work at 10.30 a m. Even 10.30 is early for many so they come at 11.oo a m. Do not expect any action on many bank officials. This the what we have seen in the last few months.
                  Reply
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