Hawala deposits in cooperative banks

via www.keralakaumudi.com published on December 1, 2007

KOCHI: It has been reported that under the deposit collection scheme, which is not directly under the control of the government, millions are deposited in cooperative banks. The reason for this is real estate mafias and hawala dealers have depended mainly on cooperative banks.

Pan card (permanent account number) is necessary for deposits above Rs 50,000 in public sector and private banks in the county. But the card is not necessary in deposits upto Rs 10 lakhs in primary cooperative banks. People with unaccounted money use this opportunity and deposit in these banks.

Under the deport collection Keraleeyam scheme, the cooperative banks have collected almost Rs 1719.93 crores till last August. Their target was only 600 crores and limitation on deposit has not been fixed so far. This amount was collected between March 1 and April 15. Though the target was 400 crores, an amount of Rs 1539 crores had been collected.

Ernakulam district collected the biggest amount. The district collected 279.96 crores till last August. Kannur and Kottayam collected 216.47 crores and 198.65 crores respectively.

One person in Malappuram district deposited Rs 75 lakhs in one cooperative bank and it has been reported that a probe is already on into the credentials of certain individuals who have deposited huge amounts of money. There are also reports that a hawala market is thriving in certain parts of the State using loopholes in cooperative banks and intelligence agencies are worried that most of these hawala transactions are ending up in land deals.

Interestingly, a probe revealed that most of the depositors are people who do not have a proper financial background and this has given ample proof to the investigating officers that there are some clandestine operators behind these deals .Sources in the DRI revealed that they are already checking into the antecedents of the people who have opened accounts in cooperative banks and those who have funded them.

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