Cobrapost |
April 27, 2013

Reliance Life Insurance, Case 4, R. Shankar S, Senior Territory Manager, Bangalore

Reliance Life Insurance, Case 4, R. Shankar S, Senior Territory Manager, Bangalore

An old hand, the Senior Territory Manager knows how to make your black money white. He would invest it without PAN card, and would route our crores into the insurance scheme of his company after converting all our big cash into DD

Posing as a frontman for a politician, the Cobrapost journalist walks into this branch of Reliance Life Insurance in a tony business address somewhere in Bangalore. Here, our reporter meets Financial Planning Officer Omshanthi, at the help desk, and straightaway states the purpose of his visit: A senior politician wants to invest Rs. 40¬–50 lakh of black money. The investment has to be safe and kept a secret.

Omshanthi proposes a single-investment pension plan and tries her best to educate our reporter. Not satisfied, our reporter seeks to meet some senior official of the company, as the entire investment has to be done in cash. The financial planner acquiesces to call Senior Territory Manager R. Shankar S to our presence. Omshanthi apprises Shankar what she has offered to the prospective client who wants to invest all in cash. Shankar takes over the negotiation.

Our reporter reiterates why he is there: A senior politician from Delhi wants to invest big money. The purpose: To convert it into white.

Shankar asks: “Cash? Kitna hai (Cash? How much is the cash)?”

Rs. 50 lakh to start with, says our reporter. We would invest more big money if everything goes well. The money has to be invested in his wife’s name.

Replies Shankar: “Darasal baat ye hai dekhiye kar toh hum sakte hain, karte bhi hain lekin itna… dus lakh toh … (See the thing is we can do it … we had done it before … but this much … but Rs. 10 lakh is …).”

Could the investment be done without the mandatory PAN card?

Shankar has an answer: “Agar PAN card nahin dena chahte toh fir guarantor dikhana parega … is hisaab se karna parega (If you don’t want to give your PAN card, then you will have to show a guarantor … it has to be done like this).”

It is apparent that he would make it possible for us to invest our unaccounted cash without the mandatory PAN card, and Shankar is an old hand as he has done such things in the past.
So what are the plans through which black money can be slipped into investment? Our reporter seeks to educate himself.

There are two kinds of investment plans, Shankar informs us. One is ULIP, and the other is for long term which gives you life-long benefits that would pass on to the nominee of the insured.
Would our money be converted into white upon maturity, asks our reporter.

Agrees Shankar: “Aapka jaisa ye paisa … mein daalte hai … monthly ya annually aata hai jo bhi … wo white hota rahega (If we put in your money [in investment] … whatever you would get monthly or annually it will be white).”

Tell us if there would be some problem from the Income Tax Department in future. Our reporter seeks assurance.

Shankar is quick to assure us: “Nahin (No).”

In no case should the politician’s name be revealed, not even as nominee. Our reporter wants to keep it a hush-hush affair and thus seeks assurance from the insurance official.

Shankar suggests that their child could be a nominee, and then there is no need to write the full name, the first name would suffice.

Has Shankar handled such kind of cash investments as ours?

Shankar promptly claims to disclose: “Aaj savare ji saath lakh cash collect kar ke laaya tha … yehi same thing (Today morning itself, I collected 60 lakh cash … for the same thing).”

What about if we put on his table Rs. 1 crore to invest? Our reporter raises the stakes a bit higher. How would you invest it, in one single chunk or split the cash?

Says Shankar with nonchalance: “Aap jo marzi bolo hum kar denge (Whatever you wish I will do it)

You mean whatever amount we wish, the reporter interjects to ask.

Shankar replies: “You start with 50 lakhs or 1 crore.”

Looks like, investing a crore in hard cash is something like peanuts for this Reliance official.
We have altogether Rs. 17 crore in hard cash. Would you help with counting the currency notes?

Help is at hand, as Shankar says: “Wo hum log yahin karenge (We will do it here itself).”
Would we get the deposit slip, asks the reporter, the same day itself?

Replies Shankar: “Nahin humein DD banana hai … that we will make (No, we have to make the DD … that we will make).”

Shankar goes on to say that after the cash deposited with his company, they will convert it into DD for facilitating the investment. And all such works will be undertaken by the insurance official himself. We need not worry.

Satisfied thus on all counts, our reporter brings the meeting to a close asking Shankar to collect the cash in the evening from the house close by where the politician’s wife is staying. A happy Shankar readily agrees.

On being contacted by the Cobrapost reporter to ask for his reaction to the expose, recalling our meeting with him this Reliance official is willing to accept to convert all our black money into white. However, once he comes to know the real identity of our reporter, he changes tack and refuses to do us the favour, citing the rule book.

Sometime later, Shankar calls up our reporter asking who our reporter was and when told about the impending press conference he says we don’t do such things as making money white.

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