CBI launches AML probe against UCO Bank for Rs 20,000 crore hawala scam

State run bank UCO bank is under CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) scanner for Rs 20,000 crore hawala scam. ED sought help of CBI on this case due to lot of technicality involved in this as the level of fraud are mainly related to core banking segment like export finance. ED has been probing the scam under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, for three months now.

The majority of scam money routed through countries like Iran and Azerbaijan.

A former UCO Bank employee, eight exporters and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) officials are under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) for alleged misuse of up to $3.2 billion in export advances paid by the bank against “fake exports” to Iran through many shell companies.

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As per the report Eight foreign nationals (seven Iranians and one from Azerbaijan) visited India on student visas, created fake companies in Chandigarh and opened accounts with UCO Bank. Afterwards they created the fake export  in probable collusion with lower-rung officials. Their sole purpose bills and take the advance against it and divert funds to Dubai and Iran. 

The foreign nationals had created close to 70-80 companies under their network. The exporters under ED lens are A&H general exports, True Exports Services, Connect Export traders, Centroid Exports (P) Ltd, Genius Exporters P Ltd, New Age Export Services, Star Elite Exports (P) Ltd and Elite World Trading.

All above companies had the same address and there is apparently no business rationale for incorporating a large number of companies. 

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