RBI officials on Tuesday informed that Rs 12.44 lakh crore have been collected at banks in demonetised notes till December 10.
With an increasing amount of black money in the newly-issued currency notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 being unearthed, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has stepped up its vigilance over banks.
In the last few weeks, several banks, including Axis Bank and State Bank of Mysore, have come under the radar of the authorities and the arrest of prominent lawyers, government officials and politicians has rung alarm bells about a definite nexus between bankers and unscrupulous currency hoarders.
Several people standing in queues outside branches have often noticed bank staff stepping out to speak discreetly on their phones and have often wondered what they were doing. Given the recent cash hauls, it now becomes clear that some of them could have been involved in siphoning off cash to influential businessmen while ordinary Indians remain standing for hours to withdraw what is rightfully their own money.
RBI has advised banks to preserve the CCTV recordings of operations at bank branches and currency chests from November 8 to December 30, 2016.
This circular essentially means that banks cannot wipe out footage of the front lobby areas where customers transact business. Nor can they delete footage of backroom areas where currency is stored in vaults. In effect, no one can get away: neither fraudulent customers nor complicit bank staff.
The RBI in a statement informed “to facilitate coordinated and effective action by the enforcement agencies in dealing with matters relating to illegal accumulation of new currency notes”.
RBI Deputy Governor SS Mundra said that notice has been issued to all banks for data checking. Talking about the junior RBI official arrested in case of money laundering earlier in the day, Mundra said that the accused has been already suspended.
RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi said that public is requested to freely use notes they have rather than holding them. RBI officials also praised banking industry for doing good work on regular basis. They also informed that currency notes are being issued by RBI regularly.
RBI has released 4.61 lakh crore currency notes till date. RBI officials also said that probe will be ordered wherever the need arises.