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Search date: 02-04-2018 Return to current date: Click here


Now there's fake bank

Neil Ray | April 02, 2018 00:00:00

It's banking hours. The manager is in his chamber. Five members of the staff are busy doing their usual chores on the computer before them. Clients, although sparse, are either drawing money from or depositing cash to their accounts. Quite a normal sight inside a bank. But then the police raid the branch. They are not alone. The police act on the information from an additional general manager of the Karnataka Bank, who also accompanies them.

What emerges from the police raid is that the entire bank was a made-up one. The fake branch was opened by its self-proclaimed manager Aafaq Ahmed a month ago. He even recruited five local people as employees of the bank for a monthly salary of Tk 5,000 each.

This unbelievable thing happened in Mulayam Nagar of Ballia city in Uttar Pradesh, India. Only Rs 137,000 was found deposited by local residents to savings and fixed deposit accounts. In terms of money this certainly is a small amount. But concocting a branch of a well established bank like the Karnataka Bank shows the limit of evil genius. In Bangladesh, spurious multi-level marketing (MLM) companies once saw a mushrooming growth. About 100 of such companies -big or small-have swindled at least 50 million small savers out of their savings.

A few other organisations of dubious character also launched their cheating programmes of far greater range and scope with a bang only to end in a whimper. Unipay2u, Jubo Karmasangsthan Society (Jubok), Destiny and the likes have collected money from poor people with the false promise of returning them fat profit. Some of those simply vanished into the thin air and top functionaries of a few others have landed in prison. But the poor people did not get their money back.

Yet none dared open a branch like their Indian counterpart who used the brand name of a bank to open its false branch. Ill luck it may be for the man that his bank was detected before he could swindle his clients. Even the five employees who were recruited were released when it was established that they had no knowledge of the fraud. Evil genius can go to any length in order to think of ways and means -and that too out-of-the-box type - so that the unsuspecting people can easily be trapped.

Some are very good at replicating such cheating business or giving new dimension to it. Now that the news has been published, it would not be surprising to see that some mad genius trying his (may be her also) hands at this extraordinary deception. Luckily, this is a time of digitisation. If the bank in India-a vast country-gets detected, anyone trying replication of the same here will be identified much sooner.

MLM companies and fraud organisations have distorted and destabilised the country's economic order to some extent but this pales before the banking scams involving capital flight and bad loans. People's money is injected to rescue or resuscitate state-owned banks time and again when these run short of operating funds on account of irregularities and mismanagement. Why become so lenient when the banks cannot protect the interests of the clients. A kind of syndicate also develops here in order to save a privileged class from outrageous financial crimes. The breach of trust and agreements disqualifies the management from undertaking the responsibilities of national wealth.

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