Cobrapost |
May 8, 2013

ING Vysya Bank, Case 3: P. Saha, Manager; S. Das, Relationship Manager, Kolkata, West Bengal

The approach of the banker is practical, though cautious, but the services for money laundering are all available under one roof. The manager boasts that he has done many such deals.

Climbing up the stairs to the bank, the Cobrapost reporter meets S. Das, who is the relationship manager of the branch.

We tell him that we need investment proposals which are long-term, safe, give handsome returns and would not draw TDS. Das goes out and calls P. Saha, the manager, who looks after the ING Life Insurance. We tell him that the investment is to be made in the names of the minister’s wife, the reporter and his wife.

The manager introduces a scheme called New Fund Offer (NFO). We ask him to calculate with a starting investment of Rs 10 lakh. He explains how a three-year payment on a 12-year policy would bring back a sizeable tax-free income, after the completion of the period, with a guaranteed 10 percent return on investment.

We want to know the documents required for this. Saha starts with the PAN card. When we say that we don’t want to give that, his reaction is immediate: “Not mandatory.”

“Cash me karenge toh (You will do it in cash, right)?” he asks.

So within the KYC document requirements, he would need address proof, passport as ID and a photograph. Period.

Numbers are exchanged.

We tell Saha that there will be a meeting with the minister in the evening to finalise things.
“Ekdum (Certainly),” says the banker.

When we ask him to involve his seniors, Saha says, he is taking care of the region, covering 7-8 branches, which means he is senior enough to take decisions and take responsibility for them.

We tell him clearly to employ safe methods that he has already used for other customers with black money.
“Bahut sara hai… (There are many of them),” says Saha.

“This is the only product jahan par government haat nahin laga sakta… Yeh government bond debenture me jaata hai… aur 10 saal, 12 saal baad jo maturity hota hai, government has no right to touch LICs. Because it’s related to the life of an individual… (This is the only product that the government cannot touch. These are invested in government bonds and debentures that mature in 10-12 years… The government has no right to touch LICs, because it’s related to the life of an individual).”

He explains further: “… Life insurance ke under jitney saare policies hai, woh government touch nahin kar sakta (The government cannot touch any of the policies under the life insurance).”

We decide to meet in the evening.

Saha is considerate. He says that he would like to prove himself first and serve to the client’s satisfaction, “then I can ask for more from you.” He says, he has had a great rating among his clients since he entered the banking scenario in 2005. He still gets calls for investment ideas, in black or white.

Has he done such sort of investments for any politicians, we dig?

“I have connections,” is the smiling Saha’s cryptic answer. However, in his eagerness to impress, he divulges the name of a client who is a politician.

We tell him about the money in the house that is creating problems.

“Baki hum samajh lega… (We will take care of the rest),” Saha assures.

We finish the discussion, and as we rise to leave, we throw the question of an NRI account. What are the procedures for starting an NRI account there? We tell the bankers that we need to move money from here to Jordan and the money in question is in black.

They agree that the movement will have to be via RTGS. Passport is one of the requirements, but that is hardly a problem. But to open the account, the bank will need residence proof of the person in that country.
Says Saha: “We need a (sic) overseas address proof.”
Can we give the address of a relative?
“Haan… (Yes),” he says.

Das steps in to give a better picture of requirements: “Jiska account hai, uska address proof lagega [in Jordan]… (The address proof of the person, who opens the account, will be required [in Jordan]).”

But can the money, which is between Rs 5 to Rs7 crore, then be transferred out to Jordan?

Saha answers: “Kyun nahin? Lekin dheere … ek baar … you cannot remit more than $ 2,000 in a year (Why not? But slowly, not in one go … you cannot remit more than $ 2,000 in a year).”

We ask him to check out the limit to which money can be remitted in a year. We shake hands and leave.

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