The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked 48 firms with addresses in Chennai and three people from Tamil Nadu for transferring black money of Rs.1,038 crores to Hong Kong during 2014-15. The first accused Mohammed Ibramsa Johny belongs to Sivaganga and the other two are Chennai-based Zinta Midhar and Nizamuddin. All three persons are widely believed to be benamis of a senior Congress leader, who is facing a series of corruption and money laundering charges by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The CBI First Information Report (FIR) registered by the agencies of the Bangalore Unit has listed 48 firms mainly linked with these three persons also accused along with unknown bank staffers who helped them send and receive money from Hong Kong. The CBI FIR accused the three persons and the 48 firms of using four branches of Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and State Bank of Mysore (now State Bank of India).
It is learned that certain firms of a young Congress MP from Tamil Nadu also have financial deals with these accused 48 firms that transferred more than Rs.1000 crores to Hong Kong during 2014-15. The Young Congress MP is having a set of firms used for money laundering and the first-accused person from Sivaganga is known to him.
The CBI has alleged that out of 24 companies, 10 had made imports in small quantities but the goods imported and the value of imports did not match with the invoices submitted by the firms to the banks. “It is further revealed that the accused and others who were involved… were paid commission on the basis of the amount transferred and duration for which the bank accounts remained active and that the concerned bank officials were also bribed in cash,” the CBI FIR alleged.
The agency also alleged that most of the remittances were made in the second half of 2015 and the annual turnover of the firms was shown in lakhs whereas the amounts remitted were in crores, which was “fraudulently and dishonestly” facilitated by the bank officials.