HYDERABAD: The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Union ministry of finance has raised a red flag over scores of high-value monetary transactions happening in the proposed capital region of Andhra Pradesh.
FIU, an independent body reporting suspicious financial transactions directly to the Economic Intelligence Council headed by the Union finance minister, is responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions. It is also responsible for coordinating with various agencies in pursuing global efforts against money laundering and related crimes.
After Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced his intent to develop a world-class capital city in the erstwhile Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali and Mangalgiri Urban Development Authority (VGTM-UDA) region in September, Tulluru and Mangalagiri mandals in Guntur district are witnessing a real estate boom as they form the core of the new capital.
Within four months, nearly 1,500-2,000 acres of land changed hands in the rural areas of the capital region like Tulluru, Amaravati, Tadikonda and Mandadam, with an acre commanding staggering prices ranging between Rs 1-2 crore. A major chunk of farmers who sold their land have been depositing cash in their bank accounts to check the genuineness of currency or cheques they have received from property buyers.
As per RBI guidelines, all banks submit Cash Transaction Report (CTR) of transactions worth above Rs 10 lakh to the central bank within a month's time
. Similarly, financial institutions send a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) to RBI and FIU for investigation if they identify certain anomalies regarding high-value cash transactions.
FIU then disseminates the STR details to various probe agencies, including CID of the state concerned, which is the local nodal agency to probe economic offences,
to investigate and submit a report on any suspicious accounts and their operators. After conducting a probe with data obtained from the banks, income tax and revenue officials, CID sends a feedback report to FIU.
"Before the state bifurcation, CID hardly used to receive any STRs from the VGTM-UDA region. However, in the past four months, on an average about 15 accounts from the capital region figure in the STR," a senior intelligence official from AP told TOI.