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Banks on Rs 10-lakh cash trail
February, 08th 2007

If you have deposited or withdrawn more than Rs 10 lakh in a single cash transaction from your bank account, watch out. You are being tracked by your bank. Around 13 lakh such cash transactions have been tracked by banks in the last year.

This is not all. Suspicious transactions too have been tracked, in line with the rules under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The PMLA passed in 2003 and notified in 2005 is the Act governing the legal regime for anti-money laundering in the country.

The Act requires banks, financial institutions and intermediaries of securities markets to put in place a system of internal reporting of suspicious transactions and cash transactions of Rs 10 lakh and above. As per recent estimates, the number of such cash transactions executed electronically stands at 12,31,945 as on December 31, 2006, while the number of manual transactions is 55,103.

As far as suspicious transactions are concerned, the total number of such transactions spotted by banks, financial institutions and intermediaries stands at 440. However, only 220 of the transactions have been disseminated among law enforcement agencies.

While a majority 269 of the suspicious transactions were reported by banks, 15 were spotted by FIs and 157 by financial intermediaries. Further, 173 of the cases were disseminated to law enforcement agencies, 53 to intelligence agencies and 27 to regulators.

The rules under the PMLA require the entities to maintain a record of transactions: all cash transactions of a value greater than Rs 10 lakh or equivalent foreign currency, series of cash transactions that have taken place within a month (integrally connected to each other) and total a value of more than Rs 10 lakh, cash transactions where forged or counterfeit currency notes have been issued as genuine and all suspicious transactions whether or not made in cash.

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