Cobrapost |
July 26, 2011

Investing black money here is made easy by getting DD made for the cash through some other bank. “Humara kaam hi yehi hai.

Investing black money here is made easy by getting DD made for the cash through some other bank. “Humara kaam hi yehi hai. Humare yahan sub ko sub kuchh pata hota hai (This is our job. Everybody here knows about everything).” – Shabee
At this branch of HDFC Bank in a swanky South Delhi neighbourhood, the Cobrapost journalist first meets Shabee, the Sales Development Manager who is anxious to help when he realizes that his visitor has a good amount of black money to invest.

Shabee explains how he would help his visitor: “Acha. Aap black money ki baat kar rahe ho. Main bata raha hun, uske liye alag tarika hai. Uske liye humara ek bank hai yahan pe … matlab HDFC nahin hai wo. Ramgariya Co-oprative Bank hai ye Paharganj mein. Humlog kya karte hain koi customer aata hai kehta hai mere paas black money pari hui hai main invest karna chahunga main kaha karun? In sab product mein main invest karwata hun. Usme kya karte hain ki cash le lete hain. Jo banda DD banata hai wo 800 rupaye le leta hai … lakh, panch lakh, dus lakh jitne ka bhi DD hua. Abhi dus lakh ka parson main banwa ke laaya. Dus lakh cash plus 8000 rupaye aur leke usko DD banwa diya, per lakh 800 rupaye bata raha hun. Uske liye ek ID proof jayega aur ek address proof jayega aur kuch nahin (Ok. You are talking of black money? I am telling you, there is a way. We have a bank for that. I don’t mean it is HDFC. There is this Ramgariya Co-operative Bank in Paharganj. What we do when a customer approaches us saying he has got black money and he would like to invest it, asks where to invest, I get him to invest in all these products. What we do then is we take the cash and the fellow who gets us DDs for the cash charges Rs. 800 per lakh, whatever the amount may be, lakh, 5 lakh, 10 lakh. I got it for Rs. 10 lakh only a day before yesterday. I took Rs. 10 lakh plus Rs. 8000 and got the DD for him. I am telling you Rs. 800 per lakh. For that you will need to provide ID proof and an address proof, nothing else).”

The cash transaction would never come to light, says Shabee: “DD ban ke aayega. Wo HDFC Life ke naam pe aayega. To aapka case jo hai wo shuru ho jayega. Aapke account se gaya hi nahin to show kahan se hoga (DD will be made in the name of HDFC Life. So from then onward your case will begin. When the money is not going through your account then how will it show up)?” Even the returns on his investment could be harvested in cash. “Agar aap nahin chahte ho ki paise account mein aayein to aap cash mein le lo (If you don’t want the money to be credited into your account, then you can take it in cash),” says Shabee.

What if the investment comes to the knowledge of others? Shabee said: “Humara kaam hi yehi hai. Humare yahan sub ko sub kuchh pata hota hai. Humare targets hote hain. Pata sub ko hota hai (This is our job. Everybody here knows about everything. We have targets to meet. Everybody knows it).” The candid admission on camera by this executive of the bank suggests that the targets banks are supposed to meet have a flip side to them. Moreover, the senior management seems to be fully aware of these activities.

Would it be safe then to invest this way? Shabee became more emphatic in his reassurances: “Aapke account mein aana hi nahin hai … aapke account se DD bana hi nahin hai. Aapne kya kiya party se cash liya yahan la ke bank mein diya, humne kya kiya usko bank mein submit nahin kiya, hum seedhe aap ke saath DD banwane gaye. Wo log kya karte hain apne chaar–panch sathion ke account hote hain, unhone kya kiya apne chaar–panch sathion ke account mein kisi mein do lakh kisi mein ek lakh daala … uske account se kara ke. Pata hai kya hota hai society ka account … usse DD banwa ke apke HDFC Life ke naam se unhone issue kara diya panch–chhe lakh ka. Next year suppose aapko pay karna hai, fir aap cash se kiya karo, fir DD banega. Same yehi rasta hai. Aapke account se DD bana hi nahin hai, cash account se kuch jaana hi nahin hai (It is not going to show up in your account. DD is not going to be made through your account. What you to do is you handover cash to us but what we do is we don’t submit it in our bank. We straightaway go there along with you to make the DD. What they do [the Cooperative Bank] is they have with them four–five accounts of their colleagues; they will deposit Rs. 2 lakh in one account and Rs. 1 lakh in another. This is done using those accounts. You know what is a society account? They use such accounts to issue DD in the name of HDFC Life for Rs. 5–6 lakh. Suppose, next year you have to pay, you can do it in cash and again DD will be made. The same procedure will be followed. DD is not going to be issued using your account; there is no cash going from the account).”

How much should he give them in white? “Do lakh ka de do. Aath lakh adjust … pachas hazar ka de do, sadhe nau main adjust kar doonga. Ya poora dus lakh de do main poora adjust kar doonga aur bataon, humara to kaam hi yehi hai, investment advisor kyon baithe hain hum yahan par. Cash jitna bhi kara lo, 50 lakh ka karwa lo. DD aap jitne ka bhi banwa lo (Give Rs. 2 lakh [by cheque]. Rs. 8 lakh can be adjusted. Give me 50,000 and I will adjust Rs. 9.5 lakh. Or, give me the entire amount of Rs. 10 lakh in cash, I will adjust the entire amount, and I tell you this is our job. Otherwise, why we are sitting here as investment advisors? Whatever cash you want, we can adjust, even Rs. 50 lakh. You can get DD for whatever amount you want).”

The reporter then asks Shabee which official in the other bank will make the DD and what will be the charges for making a DD of Rs 50 lakh? Shabee replies: “Karan hai Ramgariya Co-operative Bank hai. Pachas lakh ka DD banwane ka chalees hazar rupaye. Income tax ko pata hi nahin chalna (There is this one Karan in Ramgariya Co-operative Bank. Rs. 40,000 will be charged to make DD of Rs. 50 lakh. Income Tax [Department] will never come to know).”
Has Shabee handled such cash investments earlier? “Kara hua hai na. Ek NRI tha. Usne 10 lakh rupaye ka investment kiya tha cash mein. Wo maine karwaya hua hai (I have done it. There was an NRI. He invested Rs. 10 lakh in cash. I facilitated it),” says Shabee.

Shabee then takes the client, the Cobrapost journalist, to his superior, M. Singh, but he is not available so he takes him to Senior Manager N. Mahajan and briefs him on the visitor’s need. Mahajan responds with a willingness to help convert black money into white. Mahajan says: “Kitna bhi de sakte ho. Basically, aap ko dikhana nahin hai na ki aapka paisa wo aa raha hai. Insurance investment scheme hai bilkul ismein lag jayega (Give whatever you want. Basically, you don’t have to show that your money is coming to us. We have this insurance scheme where it will surely be invested).” He would begin with an investment of Rs. 50 lakh, says the customer. Mahajan replied: “Koi dikkat nahin hai. Agar aapko aane jaane mein koi dikkat aa rahi ho, aap humein call kar dijiye. Humare bande aa jaate hain, collection kar jaate hain aap ke yahan se. Account mein nahin jayenge. Direct cash le ke hum aapko receipt cash ki de denge. Aap koi tension mat lijiye. Kisi ko aapko batane ki zaroorat nahin hai. Aap seedhe yehin aaiyega (There is no problem. If you have problem in coming to us, then call us. Our people will come to your place for collection. It will not go into your account. We will accept the cash directly and give you a receipt. You don’t have to take any tension. You don’t need to tell anyone. You can come to us directly).”

How much should he pay for converting cash into a DD? Mahajan replies: “DD banega to charge aapko dena parega, wo usi waqt cash, because dekhiye cash mein DD banwane ke liye humein bhi aage pay karna padta hai charges uske (If DD is made, you will have to pay the charges in cash then and there, because for making DD against the cash, we have to pay them charges).” Obviously, Mahajan is an old hand in this game.
N. Mahajan’s reaction to the investigation: Unable to recall his meeting with our reporter. He said he has “no idea” and If there is any problem it can be sorted out

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