Operation Red Spider is a code name of sting operation of an online magazine, Cobrapost in which it released video footage, recorded largely by hidden cameras, showing high-ranking officials and some employees of top three Indian banks suggesting to an undercover reporter methods to launder money and offering safe deposit lockers to stash away the black money and offered to open accounts without adhering to Reserve Bank of India guidelines and use ‘benami’ (false) accounts to facilitate the conversion of the black money and keep the identity of the depositor a secret. The editor of Cobrapost.com Mr. Aniruddha Bahal brought these video footage into the public domain on March 14, 2013.
According to Mr Rajiv Takru, Secretary of Financial Services, Government of India, all Indian government agencies and regulators are working together to probe charges. On March 14, 2013 Reserve Bank of India conducted an inquiry into possible violation of its KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) guidelines by ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank. Following the enquiry, penalty of Rs 5 crore on Axis Bank, Rs 4.5 crore on HDFC Bank and Rs 1 crore on ICICI Bank was imposed by RBI.