Operation Red Spider

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Operation Red Spider was an anti-money laundering sting operation of an online magazine, Cobrapost. Cobrapost released video footage, recorded largely by hidden cameras, showing high-ranking officials and some employees of the top three Indian banks suggesting to an undercover reporter methods to launder money. The officials offered safe deposit lockers to stash away the black money, accounts that did not adhere to Reserve Bank of India guidelines, and 'benami' (false) accounts to facilitate the conversion of the black money and keep the depositor's identity a secret. The editor of Cobrapost, Aniruddha Bahal, placed the video footage into the public domain on 14 March 2013.[1][2][3]

According to Rajiv Takru, Secretary of Financial Services, Government of India, all Indian government agencies and regulators worked together to probe charges.[4] On 14 March 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.[5][6][7] 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.[8]

On 15 March 2013 ICICI Bank suspended 18 employees. On 16 March 2013 HDFC Bank appointed Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu to carry out an independent forensic inquiry of bank employees who are encouraging customers to evade income tax.[9][10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sting operation reveals money laundering by top banks". 14 March 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Jagannathan, R (14 March 2013). "Key takeouts from CobraPost sting on HDFC, Axis and ICICI". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Money-laundering by big banks, alleges Cobrapost; banks deny charges". ndtv. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Rafael Nam, Abhishek Vishnoi and Shamik Paul (15 March 2013). "India probing money laundering accusations". reuters. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  5. ^ HT Correspondent (15 March 2013). "RBI quizzes 3 private banks on laundering". HINDUSTAN TIMES. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Manojit Saha & Somasroy Chakraborty (Private banks in fire-fighting mode after allegations of money laundering). "Private banks in fire-fighting mode after allegations of money laundering". business-standard. Retrieved 15 March 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ Ronamai, Raymond (15 March 2013). "India's Private Banks Under Scanner: Is RBI to be Blamed for Money Laundering?". International Business Times. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "RBI penalises banks after sting expose". 
  9. ^ PTI (15 March 2013). "Money laundering case: ICICI bank suspends 18 employees". Zee News. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Money laundering by banks: ICICI Bank suspends 18 employees". CNN-IBN. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  11. ^ BHOIR, ANITA (16 March 2013). "HDFC Bank appoints Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India to probe money laundering allegations". Economic Times. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 

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