Money Laundering and its prevention: India

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Banks penalised

PNB fined for rule violation/ 2019

August 3, 2019: The Times of India

PNB fined for anti-money laundering rule violation


In one of the steepest ever penalties for violation of anti-money laundering rules by a bank, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has slapped a penalty of over Rs 15 crore on state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB).

Bank sources said that the lapses were not serious and were largely procedural. “We have 7,000 branches and open some 20,000 accounts every day. We are sensitising our offices,” said an executive, adding that the bank will appeal against the order.

Separately, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed penalties in the Rs 1-2 crore range on eight public sector lenders for violations related to opening and operating current accounts, discounting of bills, cyber security framework and frauds classification and reporting by commercial banks.

“A scrutiny was carried out by RBI in the accounts of the companies of a group and it was observed that the banks had failed to comply with provisions of one or more of the directions issued by RBI as mentioned above,” the regulator said in a statement.

The list names Allahabad Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Corporation Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Union Bank of India.

Supreme Court’s rulings


AmitAnand Choudhary, July 30, 2022: The Times of India

New Delhi: The Supreme Court upheld the validity of the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the vast powers enjoyed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). It gave the agency the go-ahead to arrest people and conduct search and seizure even when no complaint has been filed, making statements given before it admissible in court and also putting the burden on the accused to prove their innocence.

“Money laundering cannot be said to be less heinous than the offence of terrorism,” the court said.

In a 545-page verdict penned by Justice AM Khanwilkar, the SC examined thread- bare all the controversial provisions of PMLA that were challenged by petitioners, and found all of those to be valid.


2021: 122 sitting, ex-legislators facing laundering cases

Dhananjay Mahapatra, August 10, 2021: The Times of India

Opposition MP names on ED's list, as in August 2021
From: Dhananjay Mahapatra, August 10, 2021: The Times of India

The Enforcement Directorate has filed in the Supreme Court a list of 122 sitting and former MPs and MLAs facing money laundering cases for years with highprofile names from across the political spectrum, including several opposition figures, though the list also includes prominent names from BJP.

The list starts with A Raja and K Kanimozhi, who faced the PMLA cases because of the CBI chargesheet in the 2G spectrum scam in 2010. Both have been acquitted and the CBI appeal is pending in the Delhi HC. Following them are the father-son duo of P Chidambaram and Karti, who, according to ED's report in the SC, are facing two cases each — first lodged in 2012 with regard to the Aircel-Maxis deal irregularities, and the second in 2017 regarding clearance to FDI in media.

Ex-CMs named are BJP’s B S Yediyurappa, Congress’s B S Hooda, Virbhadra Singh (since deceased), O Ibobi Singh, JDS's Gegong Apang, Congress’s Nabam Tuki, INLD’s O P Chautala (trial completed), NCP’s Churchill Alemao and Congress’s Digambar Kamat & Ashok Chavan.

See also

Demonetisation of high value currency- 2016: India

INX money laundering case

Money Laundering and its prevention: India

Money Laundering: South Asia

Prevention of Money Laundering Act

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