ICICI BANK, CASE 8: K. R. RAO, KEY RELATIONSHIP MANAGER, ICICI PRUDENTIAL, HYDERABAD, ANDHRA PRADESH
OPERATION RED SPIDER, PART- 1

ICICI BANK, CASE 8: K. R. RAO, KEY RELATIONSHIP MANAGER, ICICI PRUDENTIAL, HYDERABAD, ANDHRA PRADESH

cobrapost |
July 26, 2011

ICICI BANK, CASE 8: K. R. RAO, KEY RELATIONSHIP MANAGER, ICICI PRUDENTIAL, HYDERABAD, ANDHRA PRADESH


For this banker, it helps when a client speaks openly about black money. Says K.R. Rao, “Whenever you are hiding something dono ko hi mushkil ho jayega (it will be difficult for both)”

Branch Relationship Manager K.R.Rao in Hyderabad understands the needs of high-value clients and is very co-operative. When told the money belongs to a politician and has to be invested in cash, Rao suggests GSIP, a 7-year-premium insurance plan which offers good, non-taxable returns. According to him, Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni too has invested Rs. 3 crore per annum in this plan.

The relationship manager is ready to accept cash. Won’t depositing Rs. 5 lakh attract attention, wonders the reporter? No information is ever revealed, he says: “How can anybody ask that Sir…nobody…it’s a customer policy na.”

How would the transactions be kept from the prying eyes of the Income Tax officials, the reporter asks time and again? Rao: “Do one thing Sir, don’t invest entire money on one single person name.”

Therefore, the accounts will open in three different names, it is decided. But then a PAN card was not a good option for the client to submit along with other documents. It was meant for internal documentation only, says Rao. “We will not share the details with anybody … to safeguard our policy/organization.”

Could he say how many customers come to him to turn their black money into white? “Cash ke customer to bahut hote hain…kya hai na aapke jaisa khulla khulla toh nahin batate (There are a lot of customers who come with cash but they don’t speak as openly as you did). They will hide something and try to tell something. You have told me very frankly and I have noted in my mind very clearly.”

In fact, he says it is better to be open about wanting to turn black money into white. He says: “Whenever you are hiding something dono ko hi mushkil ho jayega (it will be difficult for both).”
The relationship manager promises to keep his regional manager Vijay C.H. in the loop. He is so excited at the prospect of helping the minister manage his black money that he wants to do it all alone. He reiterates the need to invest in multiple names. “I will tell you very frankly bole toh very clearly, this money should be diversified into number of customers… ek customer ke upar nahin (not on a single customer).” He will fine-tune the whole deal after discussing it with his seniors: “Main manager se baat karke ek baar plan structure karke aapko batata hoon (I will talk to the manager and get back to you after structuring the plan).”

He will even call the doctor to the minister’s residence for conducting the mandatory medical examination: “Aap medical centre ko nahi jayenge … main doctor ko aapke ghar pe bulata hun…main hun na … mere ko paise de dijiye… tension mat lo (You don’t have to go to the medical centre. I will call the doctor to your residence. I am there for you. Give me the money. Don’t take any tension).”

And he will also arrange a counting machine if needed: “If it is not happening in this branch then I will take you to Banjara Hills branch … humara head office… humara regional manager jahan pe baithta hai…uske paas uske room mein baith ke (where there is our head office … where our regional manager sits …we will count it sitting there with him).”

Rao is really prepared to push the boat out for the client: “Jab bhi aap koi bara sa branch mein jaata hai na to aise sab log dekna shuru karta hai… ye jo branch hai ye rural location mein aata hai. Koi poochnewala hi nahin hai. Kal Saturday hai hum chupchap baithenge. Monday ke din koi bhi nahin aata hai branch mein hum baithenge (Whenever you visit a bigger branch everybody begins to look at you there. This branch falls in rural location. Nobody asks you anything here. Tomorrow is Saturday, we will sit quietly. Nobody comes in the branch on Monday. We will sit). I will arrange everything for you.”

He goes on to suggest another trick to make the black money white. Invest in smaller branches. It will help in keeping the transactions secret: “Chupchaap hi karte hain kisi ke aankh mein nahin dikhana hai (We do it secretly away from the prying eyes). Sir, see I will tell you our bosses… un log already manage kar chuke hain (they have already managed such deals).” And there is no dearth of politicians who seek such services: “Humara hai na yehan pe TDP, Congress ka yahan pe bahut log daalte hain. Central ministers daalte hain, Sir (Several TDP, Congress people put in here. Central ministers too put in here).”

Rao says there is nothing to worry about re the Income Tax Department: “See ye jo sector hai Sir it is a very safe and secure sector…kyunki aisa kya hai na ki IT ka jobhi hota hai (because whatever goes to IT), it is only a one paper document and even if you tear it off this document…faar-foor ke fenk diya fir bhi aapka paisa safe hai (your money is still safe even if you tear the document off and trash it).”

Surprisingly, Rao suggests that as soon as you get the bond you should tear it so that it does not come to the notice of the Income Tax Department: “It’s only a one paper document… aapke branch mein koi bhi aake… aapka date of birth bata diya na to bond aa jayega… far ke fenk do… bond ko fenk diya (Anybody can go to your branch and get your details by mentioning your date of birth. Best to tear and throw off the bond).”

As to the documents needed, he said: “Aap jo bhi de rahe ho (Whatever you are giving) it is for internal satisfaction… yahan pe IT ko nahi jayega (Here it will not go to IT). IT wale dekhte hain kya? Un logon ka humare koi relation hi nahi hai… poora different different hai (Do the IT people really look at them? They have no relation with our operations. It is entirely different).”
Are the Income Tax authorities listening?

K.R.Rao’s reaction to the investigation: First recognizing the reporter says they have recently clinched two-three deals but when told of the real identity he denied saying aisa nahin hota hai. 


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