cobrapost |
April 27, 2013


Yes Bank, Case 2, S. Maheshwari, Senior Vice President; S. Singh, Manager; K. Khatri, Investment Head, Bank, Jaipur, Rajasthan

All the officials of this branch of Yes Bank work in tandem when it comes to dealing with black money, and know how to make it clean. This is how Maheshwari would help us: “Wo toh DD banwa lenge hum kahin se bhi … uski koi tension nahin hai (We will get the DD [for the cash] from somewhere else … no tension about that).”

Walking up to the receptionist at this branch of Yes Bank in Jaipur, the Cobrapost journalist states the purpose of his visit: He wants to discuss about some handsome investment. The receptionist immediately leaves her seat to come back, after some moments, with Manager S. Singh. Our reporter straightaway puts the proposition on the table: A politician of stature wants to invest Rs. 50 lakh, in some safe, long-term instrument. It has to be done in three names: me, my wife and the politician’s wife. More big money is expected in January. Could you help us?

Since the reporter outright refuses to invest in FDs, Singh comes up with two options, one is equity and the other is debt fund. Singh suggests us to make a portfolio. Upon which our reporter asks if we would get the returns by cheque and in white.

Singh says: “White mein hi jayega… (It will go in white).”

The banker has not got our point.

We mean we will get our money back in white, reiterates the reporter.

Replies Singh: “Paisa toh white se hi karoge (You will invest the money in white)?”

No, we are asking if the returns on our investment would be in white, says the reporter.

Singh says: “Aana bhi white se hi chahiye … aap jab bank se deal karoge toh bank black mein todi na degi aapko (It should come in white only … when you are dealing with a bank then it will never give you anything in black).”

As the conversation picks up, our reporter tells him the investment has to be done in cash.

Singh gets jittery: “Main cheque ke through hi loonga (I will only accept cheque).”

Manager Singh makes it clear that only cheque is acceptable and not cash.

We are stuck, wonders our reporter. What is the solution?

But Singh can’t disappoint a customer with deep pockets. He comes up with an idea to shield the black money and invest it in one of the insurance schemes: “Ek kaam karte hain na … yahan par khata khulwa dete hain aapka … uske baad dheere dheere account mein paise jama karwate hain … matlab isi account mein nahin sub jageh pe bhi … consolidate yahan par karte hain … uske baad usko start kar denge (Let’s do one thing … I will open an account for you … after that gradually keep depositing money in it … I mean not only in this account but also in all other accounts … but will consolidate [the funds] here, after that we will start).”

It is perfectly in order of things. We can’t agree more, says he reporter. But the most important thing for us is safety of the money.

Singh says it is safe and then seeks to know the name of the minister: “Agar aap mantri ji ka naam bata dooge toh main aur taiyyari karke aaonga taaki mantri ji ko samjha sakoon … main saara karwa doonga (If you tell me the politician’s name I will come prepared to make him understand … I will take care of everything).”

As Singh insists on learning the mysterious politician’s name, our reporter is left in a fix. Finally, our undercover reporter blurts out a name, for the heck of it.

Satisfied with his discovery, Singh now makes a move for his boss’ cabin to intimate him about the proposition. Soon, our reporter is introduced to Senior Vice President S. Maheshwari who looks after the entire Rajasthan region and has 26 branches under him. The pleasantries over, the three of them begin their discussion on how to get the money invested in cash.

If everything goes fine with our initial offer, the reporter proffers, then we will put in more big money the next month. Maheshwari suggests an insurance scheme for which one has the premium for six years.

Singh intervenes to tell his boss that their prospective client wishes to pay the entire money in hard cash.

No problem, Maheshwari has a solution: “Account to aapka khul jayega … investment toh aap bologe toh aaj aur kal mein kar denge … wo toh DD banwa lenge hum kahin se bhi … uski koi tension nahin hai (We will open an account for you … if you say, we will make the investment either today or tomorrow … we will get the DD [for the cash] from somewhere else … no tension about that).”

And what documents we would require to make the investment happen?

PAN card, says Singh, among other documents.

Is it necessary for us to give the PAN Card? Our reporter is not comfortable for obvious reasons.

Maheshwari says to reassure us: “Kuch documents hote hain Sir … wo matlab usmein kahin disclose nahin hote … wo main aapko bata doonga kya rehta hai aapka … safety kar denge wo koi tension nahin hai (There are some document Sir … I mean those [documents] are not disclosed anywhere … I will tell you about what is to be done … we will ensure the safety … there is no tension).”

Maheshwari now calls two of his senior branch officials to facilitate the investment. K. Khatri, the investment head of the branch, happens to be one. Khatri is apprised of the proposed investment.

They start discussing as to how the investment in cash can be made both to safeguard the interest of the investor and to convert black money into white. The reporter is also informed that Yes Bank has a tie-up with Max Life.

When our reporter asks Khatri if the entire money would become white post maturity, Khatri replies: “Sir wo to seventh year … ek hum aur bata dete hain … agar aap ho jaata hai to first year ki money after seventh year white hogi … second year ka paisa after seventh year white hoga … third year ka paisa after seventh year white hoga … as per income tax law (Sir that will happen in the seventh year … let me tell you one more thing … if investment is made then the money you give in the first year will turn into white after seventh year … the money you give for the second year will turn into white again after seventh year … the money you give for the third year will become white after seventh year … as per income tax law).”

The reporter then asks whether the money paid in 7 years could be withdrawn in the 8th year and will it be in white?

Khatri says: “Nahin hoga white mein Sir (It will not become white Sir).”

Maheshwari intervenes: “Withdraw aap kar sakte ho … par agar aapka usmein koi poochega … query aati hai toh white toh wohi paisa kehlayega jo first year ka hai (You can withdraw … but if someone inquires … or if a query comes in … then only that money would be deemed as white, which you gave in the first year).”

Khatri goes on to say that we require to remain invested for the next 14 years to make all our money white: “Agar aap isko continue karte ho toh fourteenth year aapko withdraw karna hoga … absolute white karne ke liye (If you continue [don’t withdraw] with it, then you will have to withdraw in the fourteenth year, to make [the money] absolute white).”

Better if you make one-time investment,Khatri suggests: “Jo hum aapko ek saath bata rahe hain … ek saath lump sum amount karenge … usko aap seventh year agar aap withdraw karein … ek saath agar aap withdraw karna chahein … wo chaar crore paanch crore (What I am telling you is … we will do a lump sum amount … if you withdraw it in the seventh year … if you want to withdraw it in one shot … Rs. 4–5 crore) whatever you want to invest you withdraw … after seventh year it will be withdrawn … that whole money will become into white money.”

Making one-time investment of all our black money is the best way to make it white.

Our reporter invites the bankers to meet the minister in the evening to take the deal forward, and it can be anything between Rs, 50 lakh and Rs. 2 crore he may finalize.

The officials readily agree.

Khatri further adds: “Aap agar jaise pura unko white karna chahein toh this would be the best option…isme return aapko bahut acche mil jayenge (If you want to convert the entire [money] into white … this would be the best option … you will get better returns in this).”

When asked to provide a locker where the minister could dump all his gold, the bankers are of little help as there is no such provision. Nonetheless, the reporter doesn’t mind it to request them to arrange a big locker in any of the nearby branches.

The reporter then tells the bankers that the politician’s wife often goes to England and she wants to transfer some money out of the country. Would it be possible to send around Rs. 4–5 crore to England?

Khatri says: “Sir wo NRI karwa denge … ho jayega (Sir we will do [it through] NRI [account] … will be done).”

As he turns to leave the bank, our reporter requests Khatri to maintain secrecy about the investment.

Reassures Khatri: “Nahin, nahin Sir humare paas aise bahut se accounts hain jisme bees–bees crore ki investments maine karayi hai (No sir … we have a number of accounts with us where I have got investments of Rs. 20 crore each).”

On a lighter note, the reporter asks the banker if there are politicians among those investors.

Khatri replies: “Sir bahut hain … Sir bahut hain (Sir… there are many) but we can’t disclose … don’t worry… that’s why I am not disclosing … I can understand that.”

The meeting ends with an assurance from the bankers that they would come by in the evening to meet the politician and complete the formalities for the investment.

If you like the story and if you wish more such stories, support our effort Make a donation.


If you believe investigative journalism is essential to making democracy functional and accountable support us. »