cobrapost |
July 26, 2011


Advising our reporter to go to HDFC Bank, this ICICI insurance advisor says the way to make black money white is to get DDs made from a cooperative bank and then invest

Oddly enough, at this ICICI Lombard branch somewhere in Mumbai (the general insurance arm of ICICI Bank), bank official A. Pathak is keen to wean the visitor – a prospective client – away from his employers to HDFC Bank, his past employer. He says he used to look after investments at HDFC Bank. Now that he is with another bank and in another department, he will still try to help. “But I will help you out, don’t worry.”

Pathak offers to introduce the reporter to HDFC Bank employee P.Sharma who is Branch Manager at some branch and can help to sequester the black money. She is the best person to help the client invest and keep the Income Tax authorities at bay. He says: “Actually she is my branch manager… usse main baat kar leta hoon (Let me talk to her). She will call you… ekdum aap unse bata denge (tell her at once) what is your exact requirement. She will tell you each and every thing.”

Pathak is aware of the Anti-Money Laundering Act. He says that nobody can invest more than Rs. 50,000 in cash because of the law. So, get demand drafts made from some co-operative banks, he suggests: “Main ek kaam karta hun … Preeti se baat karta hun (I do one thing. I call up Preeti). She will call you… otherwise normal jo DD wagaira banate hain na… DD… aap kisi doosre normal co-operative bank se aap DD banwa ke de doh toh koi problem nahin hai (Otherwise, the people who normally make DD, you can make DD from some other normal co-operative bank, then there will be no problem).”

The reporter wants to know more. Pathak explains, “Bahut saare customer ke paas black mein paise hote hain…ismein jo chote chote co-operative bank hote hain unko hum cash deke sau do sau account charges pay karke unke paas se DD bana lete the…wo to ban jayega usmein koi problem nahin hai (Lots of customers have black money. We would get DD for the cash from small co-operative banks by paying them 100, 200 as fee …it will be made. There is no problem).” This way one could procure demand drafts to facilitate the investment of unaccounted money.

Could he shed more light on how they deal with such transactions in HDFC Bank? Pathak: “Sir, dekhiye kya hota hai ki… customer interest is always preference to wo basis pe hum cash se ja ke hum DD bana lete the aur DD ke basis pe hum log investment kar lete the (Sir, see we give customer’s interest always preference. So, I would go there and procure DD for the cash and then on the basis of DD make investment).”

Don’t bother about the Income Tax Department, Pathak tells the journalist. Show the black money as gift and bring it into the system through demand drafts. He explains: “Sir ye PAN card se kya hota hai ki hum log sirf aapka transaction dekh sakte hain…jo Income Tax Department hai main batata hoon aapke transaction check karti hai ki bank account se kitna transaction hua hai but directly kahin se aap DD de rahe ho toh DD toh kuchh bhi ho sakta hai na …kisi ne gift kiya hoga aapko… DD to jo banda rahega wo banwa dega kyunki 10 lakh ka aur 5 lakh ka pehle bhi kiya hua hai (Sir, we can only see your transactions with the help of PAN card. The Income Tax Department checks only the transaction from the bank account. But when you are putting in DD directly, then DD can be anything. Like someone could have gifted it to you. That fellow will get you the DD for you because he has done it earlier for Rs. 10 lakh and 5 lakh).”

Once Pathak thinks he has convinced the customer, he calls up G. Kaur, Relationship Banking Head, HDFC Bank. He tells her the customer is ready with cash to invest. He reminds her of a similar deal done earlier and then fixes up the meeting. Pathak tells the reporter that a similar cash deal of Rs.50 lakh was done in July so he can go ahead and talk to the officials in HDFC Bank.

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