V. Mahajan, Assistant General Manager, State Bank of India, Gurgaon, Haryana
Mahajan will help us hide our cash in a locker if we buy an FD. Cautiously he says: “Locker de denge par usme fix deposits thoda sa humare paas rahega (We will provide locker but we will keep some fixed deposits with us).”
Here at this branch of State Bank of India in an upscale address somewhere in Gurgaon, Haryana, the Cobrapost journalist meets Assistant General Manager V. Mahajan. We have to make a handsome investment, our reporter states the purpose of his visit, in some long-term instrument, with no TDS. The money is all in cash.
Mahajan suggests a few schemes including mutual funds. But we can’t invest in cash.
Then, what do we do, our reporter bemoans? We plan to invest Rs. 1 crore now. We are expecting Rs. 8–10 crore in March. Our reporter raises the stakes.
Mahajan does neither look surprised nor does he ask for the source of the income. However, he is cautious and hence he recommends an alternative way to invest such a big amount of money: Route all your cash through a different account.
Our reporter asks if we can open another account.
Mahajan nods in affirmation and says: “Ussmein jama karayein account mein … account se wo kar lijiyega (Deposit [cash] in that account … do that [invest] through account).”
We have no problem.
How much cash can we put into that account, our reporter asks.
He says: “Account mein toh jitna marzi karao aap (Deposit as much as you want in the account).”
Mahajan then agrees to get three accounts opened in three different names. He himself comes out to get the forms to open the accounts, yet is very cautious about his responses. Apart from nodding his head in affirmation he doesn’t say much.
As Mahajan is not a very friendly person, to build trust we ask him if any information will be disclosed from the bank. Mahajan says: “Nahin kisi ki bhi nahin karte (No we don’t disclose anyone’s information).”
When Mahajan tells us about different plans including insurance our reporter confirms the benefits of that plan. We tell Mahajan we want this insurance plan where the cash can be invested for a long term and comes out as white.
Mahajan nods in agreement implying that’s what the plan does.
We also need lockers as keeping that much cash at home is risky.
Mahajan promises to provide lockers for the purpose but in return he wants us to invest in fixed deposits. He says: “Locker de denge par usme fix deposits thoda sa humare paas rahega (We will provide you a locker but you should have some fixed deposits with us).”
We are flush with cash. We ask him how much he wants us to deposit.
“Thoda sa fix deposit hum kara denge … dus lakh ke karib kara denge (We will put in a small amount in fixed deposit … around Rs.10 lakh).”
No problem.
The promise of opening fixed deposits from the black money serves as an incentive to provide big lockers to keep the cash in the denomination of Rs. 500 notes.
Mahajan also agrees that we can use the bank’s counting machine to count our cash.
After exchanging the phone numbers we set a time to meet again, to close the deal the same day.

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