Cobrapost |
July 26, 2011

Both bankers are not only willing to make black money white but also help with transferring it abroad

Both bankers are not only willing to make black money white but also help with transferring it abroad

A politician wants to make about Rs. 50 lakh of black money white. More black money is due in February. When the Cobrapost journalist, supposedly working for the politician, goes with this proposition to this branch of HDFC Bank in Faridabad in Haryana, he finds Branch Manager V.K. Tandon and his superior Navneet more than friendly. Go for a money back guarantee scheme, they promptly suggests, which will yield better returns after a period of 16 years.

This is how the scheme would help him make his black money white, Navneet explains: “Dus lakh rupaye saal ka aap daal rahe ho to total solah saalon mein ek crore saath lakh. Ismein aapko hum ek crore bees lakh ka sum assured denge. Ek crore bees lakh ka. Iske upar har saal pachees per cent aapko wapas mil jayega, refund ho jayega saara aapko DD mein white, tax free (If you invest Rs. 10 lakh per year, then it will be Rs. 1. 60 core in 16 years. We will give you a sum assured of Rs. 1.20 crore. Above this, we will give you back 25 per cent of that money every year. You will get refund of all the money in DD, in white, tax free).”

Or still better, suggests Navneet, if the client opts for a diversified portfolio, he could enjoy better returns while making the money white.

Would there be any problem with the Income Tax Department, asks the journalist, as the transaction would be in cash? Don’t worry, simply open an account with us, advises Branch Manager Tandon, and the rest will be taken care of: “Wo koi dikkat nahin hai. Account khol dena to aapka proof hai yahan pe. Main 10–10 lakh bhi nahin karunga. Main 9–9 lakh karunga. Aap ke liye main baitha hun. Aap chinta mat karo, wo tarika main aapko bataoonga (There is no problem. Open an account. And do you have a proof here? I will not deposit Rs. 10 lakh in one go. I will deposit in sums of Rs. 9 lakh. Don’t worry, I am here to help you. I will tell you the way).”

But would he accept cash? Tandon replies: “Wo koi dikkat nahin. Account khol dena. Usse to ek cheez prove ho jayegi yahan pe. Khatam kar denge. Humein sirf teen cheque chahiye account open karne ke liye, baaki nahin chahiye (That is not a problem. Open an account. This will prove one thing here. We will close it. We need only three cheques to open an account, nothing else).”

There is a large amount of cash due in February. Would they provide him with a locker to keep the money safe there? “Hum neeche wala rent pe le rahe hain aapko jitna bada locker chahiye hoga wo de denge. Panch–chhe mahine ruko, February mein mil jayega. Locker hum aapko denge chinta na karo. Jo sabse bada ho wo aapke naam (We are taking the floor below on rent. We will give you a locker as big as you want. Wait for 5–6 months, you will get it in February. Don’t worry. We will give you the largest locker),” says Tandon. At no point did Tandon ask about the source of the money.

To know if it were possible to send black money abroad through HDFC Bank, the reporter cooks up another story. The politician’s wife often visits England, he says. Could money be sent to her there through the bank? Tandon was ready to help: “Unka koi relative rehta hai wahan. Saal mein doh lakh dollar nikal doh. Kisko bhej rahe hain. Apni behen ko bhej rahe hain. Wo gradually hum kar denge. Ye baat cabin ke bahar nahi jayegi. Koi dikkat nahin hai (Does any of her relatives stay there. Withdraw 2 lakh dollars in a year. Who would be the recipient? Is she sending it to her sister? We would manage it gradually. This information would never go outside of this cabin. There is no problem).”
In other words, anybody could transfer money abroad through HDFC Bank.

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