The Income Tax (I-T) Department seized over Rs 53 crore following a search on an urban credit cooperative bank in Maharashtra, the tax authority said on Saturday.
While the department did not name the cooperative bank, sources said the action was conducted against Buldana Urban Cooperative Credit, its chairman and one of its directors.
The I-T Department has found glaring irregularities in the opening of over 1,200 bank accounts at one of the branches of the bank.
“The investigations have revealed that these bank accounts were opened without following KYC norms and all account opening forms are filled in by the bank staff and they have put their signature/thumb impressions.
“In these accounts, multiple cash deposits each of exact denomination of Rs 1.9 lakh were made totalling Rs 53.72 crore. Out of these, more than 700 bank accounts have been identified, which were opened in series, where cash deposits of more than Rs 34.10 crore were made immediately within 7 days of the opening of the accounts mainly during August 2020 to May 2021,” a statement from the department said.
According to the department, these deposits were structured to avoid the mandatory PAN requirement for cash deposits over Rs 2 lakh. The probe found this money was subsequently converted into fixed deposits in the same branch.
“The chairman, managing director and the manager of the branch could not explain the source of cash deposits and accepted that these were done at the behest of one of the directors of the bank, who is a prominent local businessman engaged in trading of grains,” said the tax authority.