News portal Cobrapost accused several large banking and insurance companies of money laundering, and screened video footage of bank officials offering to facilitate the conversion of black money into white, at a press conference here on Monday.
“Money laundering services are being offered openly as a standard product across the board. Operation Red Spider 2 establishes beyond doubt that money laundering is not confined to private banks. The proceeds of corruption, tax evasion and worse are sought to be invested and made legitimate. According to the officials of banks and insurance companies, they have done this plenty of times in the past and are only too eager to do it again,” Cobrapost editor Aniruddha Bahal said.
The news portal claimed that an Andhra Pradesh minister was netted by an undercover reporter of theirs, while facilitating alleged conversion of black money into white. The minister allegedly stood guarantor for the safety of black money proposed to be invested in real estate.“This helps us uncover a nexus between the banker and the hawala kingpins who are running their racket without any fear of law, with active patronage of our political masters,” Bahal added. Bahal said the portal’s undercover reporter contacted banks posing as a relative of an imagined politician willing to convert black money into white.
Almost every banker and insurer was willing to help launder huge amounts of unaccounted cash. They suggested a number of ways to convert black money into white, including opening of fresh accounts to route the cash into various investment schemes, arranging forged PAN cards or using accounts of other customers for a fee.