Officers from India’s Enforcement Directorate have arrested a man on suspicion of laundering INR190m (USD3m). Ajit Jain, a trader from Mumbai, faces charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The funds, according to reports, stem from a large scale fraud.
The case dates back to a 2013 report made by Canara Bank about a similar sum of money defrauded from some of its clients. The accused allegedly helped to channel funds to the unknown person behind the fraud, using both the banking system and hawala.
Perhaps it was only a matter of time, but the UKSerious Fraud Office (SFO) has apparently contacted India’s Criminal Investigations Bureau (CBI) for information on an individual in Mumbai in connection with allegations of corruption during the construction of New Delhi‘s overground and underground metro railway.
“The required information is in connection with the SFO’s corruption probe against a French multinational transport conglomerate that had bagged a Delhi Metro project,” reads a report in the Hindustan Times.
In a nation of 1.2bn people, where bribes are calculated into the fee for any public service, from acquiring a driver’s license to getting an electricity connection in a new home, it is hardly surprising that someone somewhere in the long line of people who oversaw the project (estimated cost INR2bn/US$32m per kilometre) may be under investigation.
Big projects need big budgets and many people to make them happen. As a friend who brokers deals for luxury hotel brands in India once told me about bribery, “There are many hands to feed.”