CHENNAI: Sleuths of the income tax department (Tamil Nadu and Puducherry region) have detected a bank deposit of Rs 246 crore, made in a single transaction, during the ongoing drive against black money in Tamil Nadu. Sources said the money, suspected to have belonged to a leading politician, deposited during the demonetisation exercise carried out between November 8 and December 30.
It has also come to light that 441 account-holders with cumulative bank deposits of Rs 240 crore were untraceable in the state, as banks do not have proper details of these customers. The department has also sent notices to 27,739 account-holders over suspicious high-value transactions.”During our inquiry, it came to light that an individual deposited Rs 246 crore in a bank account well after banking hours. It is one of the highest deposits made during demonetisation,” said an official.
“After we sent notice to him, he agreed to join the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana and pay tax, fine and penalty,” said the official.
This is the second round of scanning of bank accounts that the I-T department is carrying out after demonetisation was announced. “The current exercise is based on details provided by the RBI about suspicious deposits. We sent notices to 27,739 bank account holders through email and asked them to show source of money in their accounts. We received reply only from 18,220 account holders. Despite several reminders, others have not revealed source of money in their accounts,” said the official.
I-T department survey
“As a follow-up action, the I-T department carried out a survey of the accounts and found that details of 441 account holders were not available in the banks. The RBI has given clear-cut guidelines that all accounts should have ‘know your customer’ (KYC) details. But the bank officials did not bother to update such details. We have instructed many banks to initiate action against their officials who helped customers open benami accounts to convert black money into white,” said the official.
In many cases, the replies provided by account holders not satisfactory, he said. In all, Rs 3,600 crore of suspicious deposits have detected, he said.
A sizeable section of people who deposited money during the demonetization window are businessmen. They had shown the deposited money as their income. Officials are also screening many realty transactions above Rs one crore that took place after demonetization announced, he said.