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Money Laundering- Lessons from Sting Operation

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Money Laundering in India

At the end the shiny reputation of three of India’s largest private banks was pulled down by mere camera based sting operation. The reporter with a sting camera was one of the courageous individuals who dared to put forward the true story of money laundering carried out by the bank. A sting camera along with a yarn about wanting to launder money on behalf of a leading politician came handy for the successful operation.

A mockery was created of all the claims made by these big banks to abide by the ethical business practices by the images of the front office staff and middle level staff. It was reported that some of India’s finest private Banks exists only to eat up black money.

All thanks to the Cobra-post sting video which revealed the standard operating procedures for money laundering by these banks. The three banks in support of their ethical practice and innocence claimed to investigate the damn video allegation.

Corruption at different Corporate levels

It is seen that in today’s competitive world, employees at the junior and middle levels are pushing targets set by the senior management. In order to climb up the ladder of corporate success, people engage themselves in several different kinds of practices which often lead them to trouble. Bank employees too, suffer problems of pushing targets from the senior management whenever a new product/service is launched. In order to increase sales based incentive and rewards (also termed as Variable Pay or Performance Linked Bonus in modern terminology) people operate in a rogue manner. Employees in the rat race work only to climb up the corporate greasy pole without thinking of the fact that excess oiling will definitely make them fall someday or the other.

As seen in the Indian capital market scam during the times of Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh in 1992 and 2001, the lower-level employees in the banks were caught red-handed on camera, while easing out money for a hefty compensation from the brokers which will be big enough to buy them a dream. The scam was definitely a warning for the people down the food chain to understand that the oral orders from superior employee up the chain is nothing but mere misleading words which always work in the interest of the senior level staff.

It is needless to say that people on top, walk free with their entire burden left for the juniors to be carried. It is needless to say that the senior management like Chairman, CEOs of Banks or any other financial institutions for that matter are not involved in day-to-day transactions and neither they should be. But as a matter of fact, they being the stakeholders of the company and the brand equity must bear the cross for the failure of governance and ethical practices. People often make public statements claiming their unawareness about the mischief definitely sounds incredulous. However, had it been true in the rarest cases the buck should stop with them.

Conclusion

Currently the need is to let strict regulations from the finance ministry to succeed, so that more tax evaders can be brought under the net. This will help the IT department get hold of the high-rolling big spenders who have been flying beneath the tax radar. Strict regulations will only help India get hold of such problems of money laundering and once this is in place and a fear of being caught is developed in the mind of people, only then we can think we established a better, corruption free, transparent India.

PG

Niraj Satnalika

Niraj is an MBA in International Business (Finance). Prior to this he completed B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation. He is currently working with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Kolkata in capacity of Consultant. Satnalika is actively involved with an NGO and works towards promoting education among the underprivileged.

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