New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) Two bank officials arrested in connection with an ongoing probe into an illegal forex transfer case were sent in two-day CBI custody on Wednesday by a court here, which directed the central agency to collect quality evidence before arresting any accused.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday arrested Bank of Baroda’s Ashok Vihar branch head and assistant general manager Suresh Kumar Garg and foreign exchange unit head Jainis Dubey in connection with the illegal transfer of Rs.6,172 crore abroad through the bank. The CBI informed the court that both officials have been suspended by the bank.
Special CBI court presiding officer P.K. Jain remanded the duo in CBI custody till October 16 after the central agency said their custody was required to unearth the whole conspiracy. The plea was, however, opposed by defence counsel.
The court asked the probe agency about the criminality involved in the case. “You (probe agency) have to find the offence committed by the accused. You have to collect quality evidence in the case,” the court told the CBI after it failed to respond about the offence committed by the accused.
Citing apex court directions, the court said no accused should be arrested in a hurry.
The CBI told the court that the accused allowed money transfer without informing their regional office. A complaint related to the illegal fund transfer was filed by the bank itself, the court was told.
The central investigating agency said both accused allowed transfer of heavy amounts of money through 59 bank accounts to companies in Hong Kong and Dubai for fake import and export businesses.
The probe agency said that the holders of 59 bank accounts were untraceable and the questioning of the duo would help in identifying those involved in the conspiracy.
The CBI said though the accused were called 3-4 times prior to their arrest, they did not cooperate and thus their custodial interrogation was required to unearth the entire conspiracy.
Defence counsel Bijender Singh, appearing for Garg, told the court that his client had written to the regional office in January, 2015 about the irregularities he noticed in several accounts.
Singh claimed there was no loss to the bank due to this huge foreign fund transfer, adding that Garg was arrested in a hurry to protect someone else.
The court then directed the CBI to conduct investigation first instead of arresting people in the case.
Countering the prosecution’s submissions, the defence counsel said both the accused were under detention since October 9, thus giving the CBI sufficient time to interrogate them. No further custodial interrogation of the duo was required, the defence said.
The case pertains to the transfer of Rs.6,172 crore in foreign exchange through a Bank of Baroda branch to Hong Kong. The money was transferred through 59 bank accounts to companies in Hong Kong and Dubai for fake import and export businesses.
“A search revealed that addresses given by at least 50 companies for bank records were fake,” a CBI official told IANS.
“Interrogation of bank officials revealed that some employees acted as middlemen for these companies,” he added.