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Maharashtra credit society under I-T scanner for laundering

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A MULTI-STATE urban co-operative credit society has come under the scanner of the Income Tax department after a probe found that it allegedly laundered Rs 900 crore.

The reports have found large-scale tax evasion and money laundering by entities and individuals through banking channels between February 2015 and March 2017, reported The Indian Express.

The tax probe found that Dyaneshwari Multi-State Urban Co-operative Credit Society Ltd, which was formed in 2013 and is based in Ahmednagar, allegedly received the money through unidentified operators in its bank accounts in the last two years.

The society allegedly used to charge a commission of 50 paisa for converting every Rs 100 of cash into RTGS, said sources. Typically, the society received cash deposits of Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore a day, sources claimed, citing investigation records.

The tax department traced the account of a Mumbai-based jeweller who allegedly received over Rs 5 crore from Dyaneshwari between November 8 and December 31, 2016.

In 2015, the Supreme Court had restrained co-operative societies in Rajasthan from carrying out any “banking activity”, as defined under the Banking Regulations Act, and further imposed restrictions on accepting deposits from general public.

The court noted that several such societies accepted deposits from nominal members as well as from public without obtaining a licence for a banking business from the Reserve Bank of India.

According to the website of multi-state co-operative societies, there are about 1263 registered societies, with Maharashtra having the highest number of such societies at 558.

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