Congress slams Centre over delay in acting in Bank of Baroda case

New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) The Congress on Saturday questioned the Centre for not acting against the guilty for over a month despite Bank of Baroda’s internal audit report sent to the finance ministry showing fraud involving “cash deposits” of Rs.6,172 crore.

The CBI in a joint operation with the Enforcement Directorate on Saturday conducted raids at a north Delhi branch of the Bank of Baroda, dealing with forex in connection with “cash” deposits of Rs.6,172 crore which were later “sent to Hong Kong”.

The raids came a day after the Congress hit out at the Narendra Modi government in relation to the transactions at the Bank of Baroda branch, saying they were in contravention of rules.

“Initial investigations show prima facie irregularities involving connivance of bank officials, blatant non-compliance of basic due-diligence involving KYC norms and alerts on irregular forex transactions,” Congress spokesperson Kapil Sibal said at the Congress headquarters.

“What is astounding is that even after the bank’s internal audit unravelled the scam and brought it to the notice of the finance ministry, the ministry chose to look away and slept over the entire episode without taking any investigation measures,” he added.

“Why didn’t Arun Jaitley and PMO take any action for over a month that is from the date of submission of internal audit report by Bank of Baroda to the finance ministry on September 9 till today?” he asked.

Sibal also questioned the silence of the government on this issue. “Why are the prime minister and the finance minister mum in the matter? Why have they not come forward and made a statement as to who is guilty in this huge black money scam?”

“Who are these fictitious companies and 59 bank accounts in the Bank of Baroda through which Rs.6,172 Cr were siphoned off fraudulently? What connection do they have to BJP?”

“One wonders if this deliberate delay on part of the central government did not give an opportunity to the perpetrators of this fraud enough time to get their books in order and manipulate evidence,” Sibal said.

“The finance minister is tom-tomming collection of Rs 4,157 crores of black money but they are letting black money worth Rs 6,172 crore transferred to Hong Kong,” the former union minster said.

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