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Irda report on money laundering by insurance cos likely next week

Last Updated: Friday, April 12, 2013 - 18:47

New Delhi: Insurance regulator Irda Friday said it is likely to finalise report by next week on the allegations of money laundering by three companies - HDFC Life, ICICI Prudential Life and Max Life - following and expose by Cobarapost.

"We have got some response. On our own, we are checking that. I have not seen the report. Next week, report should be coming out," Irda Chairman T S Vijayan said on the sidelines of an event here.

"We want to check up everything. Report is underway," he added.

Last month, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) had sought explanations from CEOs of three life insurance companies after taking cognisance of a sting operation that alleged money laundering in leading private banks -- ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank.

Some officials of HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, the sting operation alleged, had offered to launder unaccounted money through insurance schemes.

Irda had called for relevant data for initiating appropriate action last month.

Yesterday, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor H R Khan had said the central bank is initiating action against ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank in connection with allegations of money laundering by Cobrapost.

"Actions are on the way. Scrutiny has been done, actions is being taken both in respect of systemic level and at the individual banks," he had said when asked if RBI has completed investigations on Cobrapost exposes.

The sting operation conducted by the portal alleged that some bank officials had offered to launder unaccounted money by investing in insurance schemes.

The footage taken in 'Operation Red Spider' purportedly shows a number of senior executives of the three banks verbally agreeing to take huge amounts of cash from the undercover reporter and putting them into a variety of long-term investment plans so that the black money ultimately is converted into white.

Following the sting operation, ICICI Bank suspended 18 employees, while HDFC Bank has initiated an audit inquiry besides suspending 20 staffers.

Axis Bank has also formed a senior-level committee to oversee an internal inquiry and asked 16 employees concerned to report to the administrative office.


First Published: Friday, April 12, 2013 - 18:47
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