CBI should probe source of new currency notes seized by IT: Bank union

Chennai, Dec 9 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should probe the source of new 2,000 rupee currency notes valued around Rs 10 crore seized by Income Tax officials from a group of businessmen here, demanded a top bank union leader.

“It is baffling to know that a sum of around Rs 10 crore in new 2,000 rupee notes were seized by IT department from the premises of some businessman. Such huge volume of currency notes could not have gone from bank branches,” All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C.H.Venkatachalam told IANS.

According to him, bank branches get cash from their currency chest, which in turn gets money from the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) currency chest.

“The ATMs (automatic teller machine) are filled by bank branch staff if it is in bank premises. In case the ATMs are offsite then ATM operators/cash management companies collect cash from the bank’s currency chest to fill up the machines.

“In some cases, the cash management companies also collect cash directly from RBI’s currency chest. So the CBI has to probe as to how huge volume of new currency notes found its way to the premises of a businessman.

“One simple way is the trace the source of the seized currency notes is from their serial numbers,” Venkatachalam said.

According to him, such large volume of currency notes cannot be diverted without the connivance of top officials of the banks concerned.

Venkatachalam said if the culprits are not brought to book, then confidence and faith in the banking system will go.

He said bank branch officials are being accused by general public that they are diverting new currency notes to wealthy for a commission.

“Such large sum transfers by a bank branch is not possible,” he added.

Meanwhile AIBEA and All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA) on Friday demanded RBI to suspend cash transactions at bank branches till the currency crunch is addressed fully.

In a letter to RBI Governor Urjit Patel, AIBEA and AIBOA the unions have demanded suspension of cash transactions at bank branches till sufficient number of currency notes are supplied.

The two unions demanded RBI to announce the details of currency notes supplied by them to various currency chests/banks on a daily basis so that the allegations that some selected banks are being favoured with more currency notes and public sector banks are discriminated can be answered properly.