Citizens' Issues
Forex scam: CBI conducts fresh searches in Delhi, NCR
New Delhi : The CBI on Sunday carried out searches at 10 locations in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) as part of its investigation into the alleged Rs.6,000 crore Bank of Baroda forex scam.
 
Agency's spokesperson Devpreet Singh said the searches were conducted at the official and residential premises of certain people. 
 
"Rs.40 lakh in cash, rubber stamps of about 44 different companies, 15 PAN (permanent account number) cards and various incriminating documents, including pen-drives and hard discs, connected to the case were recovered during searches," the official said. 
 
In addition, foreign currencies of China, the US, Europe, the UAE, Nigeria, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka were also found, said the official, adding the documents recovered are being scrutinised.
 
The CBI officials privy to the investigation of the case, say the agency has so far found that around 8,500 foreign remittance transactions were made from 59 bank accounts of various firms against import of goods and software from Hong Kong and Dubai. 
 
"The investigation revealed further involvement of around 11 private persons or entities," the official said. 
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on October 9 registered a case under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, dealing with criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust, against 59 current account holders along with "unknown" bank officials and private persons on a complaint from Bank of Baroda. 
 
It was alleged that 59 current account holders and "unknown" bank officials conspired to send overseas remittances, mostly to Hong Kong, of foreign exchange worth approximately Rs.6,000 crore in an illegal and irregular manner in violation of the established banking norms under the garb of payments towards imports that were suspected to be non-existent. 
 
Earlier, the CBI had conducted searches at 53 locations, including a Bank of Baroda branch in Delhi's Ashok Vihar, various companies and other accused persons. 
 
"It was also alleged that the amount remitted in each transaction would be kept at less than USD 100,000. All the remittances were made to Hong Kong," the official said. 
 
The official said the amount was remitted as advance for import and in most cases the beneficiary was the same. 
 
"Most of the foreign exchange related transactions were carried out in newly opened current accounts wherein heavy cash receipts were observed but the branch did not generate Exceptional Transaction Report (ETR) and did not monitor the high value transactions," the official said. 
 
Following the case, the CBI on October 13 arrested then assistant general manager and another officer (Foreign Exchange) of the Bank of Baroda's Ashok Vihar Branch for their alleged involvement in facilitating the foreign exchange remittances by violating the laid down guidelines of Bank of Baroda and thereby facilitating the accused persons in money laundering. 
 
The agency had also filed a charge sheet against the two employees of Bank of Baroda in December 2015.
 
"Further investigation is continuing with reference to the role of other accused persons, including bank officials as well as alleged 59 account holders and private persons," the official said. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Air India to fly 20 domestic flights with all-women crew
New Delhi : National carrier Air India will celebrate the International Women's Day on Tuesday by operating 20 domestic flights manned by all-women crew.
 
"Air India will fly 20 domestic flights with all-women crew on March 8 to observe the International Women's Day. The details regarding their routes and timings are expected to be disclosed by Monday evening," an airline official told IANS on Sunday.
 
Air India has already created a record by flying the world's longest flight operated by an all-women crew on Sunday. The airline's San Francisco-bound AI 173 took off from New Delhi on Sunday morning and will return to the national capital on Tuesday.
 
"The national carrier supports the cause of women in every area," Harpreet Singh Dey, president of the Indian Women Pilots' Association, said.
 
Air India celebrates the Day every year by deploying women crew on its select international and domestic routes.
 
The New Delhi-San Francisco flight saw women handling all operations ranging from cockpit to cabin crew, check-in staff, doctor, customer care staff, entire ground handling staff from operators to technicians, engineers and flight dispatchers and trimmers.
 
Air India has 3,765 women employees, including women pilots, cabin crew, engineers, technicians, doctors, security personnel and executives.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Mallya blames media, seeks to clarify why Kingfisher failed
Bengaluru : In a damage control exercise, beleaguered industrialist Vijay Mallya on Sunday blamed media for spoiling his reputation and sought to clarify why his dream airline Kingfisher failed.
 
"The past few days have witnessed a near hysterical campaign in the media directed against me," the 60-year-old flamboyant tycoon said in a statement here.
 
Accusing media of indulging in sensationalism, he said he felt the time had come to clarify his position in order to avoid relentless attack on his reputation.
 
"I have always lived an honourable life and the calumny notwithstanding, shall continue to do so. As to the allegations in media, all I can say is I hope some sobriety and sense will prevail and truth not held a hostage to TRPs."
 
Recalling that Kingfisher was launched in 2005 on the basis of viable business plan vetted by SBI Capital Markets and international aviation consultants, Mallya admitted that despite every effort, the airline was an unfortunate commercial failure caused by macro-economic factors and then government policies.
 
"The truth about Kingfisher Airlines and its financial stress due to external factors has been reported by State Bank of India (SBI) to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in their letter dated 31st January 2012," he said in the statement.
 
Mallya's statement comes ahead of the Debt Recovery Tribunal's order on the four interlocutory applications (IAs) the SBI moved on March 2, seeking his arrest, impounding his passport, disclosure of his assets in India and abroad and first claim to the $75 million deal he had signed with British liquor major Diageo plc on February 25 for resigning as chairman of its Indian arm United Spirits Ltd (USL). The tycoon also said he would move to Britain to be with his family.
 
When the tribunal reserved its order on Friday and posted next hearing to Monday, the SBI filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court as a lead bank of a consortium of banks, seeking same relief it sought from the tribunal. On this, the court issued notice to Mallya and others for response by this week.
 
A consortium of 17 state-run and private banks loaned funds of Rs.7,800 crore to Kingfisher, a public firm, but these loans were secured by blue chip securities.
 
After the airline's closure in 2012, the banks and their assignees recovered an aggregate of Rs.1,244 crore from sale of pledged shares since April 2013, he said.
 
In addition, an aggregate of Rs.600 crore is lying deposited in the Karnataka High Court since July 2013 and Rs.650 crore of United Breweries Holdings has been deposited there since early 2014, being sums realised from proceeds received by the UB Holdings from sale of shares in United Spirits to Diageo in July 2013.
 
"Thus, the aggregate cash recovery/security available is Rs.2,494 crore," Mallya claimed in the statement.
 
Observing that a disinformation campaign had made him a poster boy of all banks' NPAs (non-performing assets) despite pledging blue chip securities and depositing unspecified amounts in court, Mallya said banks have NPAs of Rs.11 lakh crore and borrowers owe much more than Kingfisher.
 
"None of these large borrowers have been declared wilful defaulters, but unfortunately, UB Holdings and I have been declared wilful defaulters by certain banks on technical grounds. I have legally challenged these declarations," he said.
 
Clarifying all inquiries found no evidence of misappropriation of funds by his defunct airline or himself, he said hence allegations and innuendo to this effect were false. 
 
"My group invested Rs 4,000 crore into the airline which stands impaired - it is not as though it is only the bank debt that has suffered. Banks will recover a substantial part of their debt - my groups loss is permanent," Mallya noted. 
 
Lamenting for being painted as an absconder, Mallya said he had been a non-resident for around 28 years and the RBI had acknowledged this in writing.
 
"Over the years, I have built businesses in India and abroad. I am also honoured to be a member of the Rajya Sabha (from Karnataka for the second time)," he added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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