Some days back a sting operation threw up videos of some bank employees helping the customers to open accounts without proper documentation and to deposit cash in these accounts, with the ultimate purpose of converting black money into white. Subsequently, some of these banks announced that they have suspended the concerned employees and that they are ‘investigating’ into the matter.
Money Laundering in India
What impression does that give you ? That a bunch of dishonest, law abhorring employees have been making hay with the connivance of the private bank managements as the regulator looks the other way ? I will not blame you if that is what you felt.
The other day I went to one of these banks to close one of my savings bank and demat accounts. Do not worry, I have not panicked; I will tell you why some other time. I wanted to close these for a very simple reason – I do not need them any longer.
But what is of relevance to the money laundering issue is my conversation with the girl at the counter I approached for closing the accounts. After she gave me the forms for closing the accounts, she asked me if I would like to open some savings accounts. Well, that took me aback : here I have come to close some accounts, and she is asking me whether I would like to open some accounts ! When I said no, she insisted : some small ones at least – just Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 in each ! In the name of wife or child !
By then I new what the matter was. She was definitely not stupid. Her earnestness spoke of her compulsions to behave so stupidly. I smiled. But my heart cried. For this young woman who had an entire career ahead of her. For this system that turns sensible people so dumb. Where we heading the way of US ?