The continuing crusade against corruption in India has entered a new phase. Arvind Kejriwal, India’s own Julian Assange (who had promised to publicise one case of corruption every week), has come out with more than one case. He has now accused a list of businessmen of hiding black money in Swiss banks. What is more, he has also revealed their modus operandi. See this article in the Times of India.
The modus goes like this. A rich businessman calls up a multinational bank (named in the above article) informing them he has to deposit a large amount in a Swiss bank. The bank sends its executives to collect the cash. The same day an account is opened in his name in a Dubai bank and then the cash is transferred to the bank’s branch in Switzerland. Everything is done without a hitch and the business man is safe in the belief that his money is in good hands. If he wants to withdraw he is given a contact’s name in Switzerland and with just a phone call the cash will be delivered at his door step. Isn’t that convenient? Some banks in India call it “Convenience banking.”
Kejriwal claims that his sources in government and the banking sector have seen a list of around 500 names of persons who held Swiss accounts released by the French government. This top secret document contained the names of the top-most Indian businessmen. The government was supposed to investigate these people and submit a report. However, investigations were done only in case of around a hundred small businessmen and the rest were let go with a wink and a nod. The big fish escaped the net and only the small fish were caught because the net wasn’t cast wide enough. Now, that’s Kejriwal’s claim.
Almost all the business houses have denied immediately that their owners do not hold secret Swiss accounts, of course. The spin doctors must have done their work in earnest. Bringing out such allegations have thrown the gauntlet at Kejriwal, since these are rich people he is messing with. They have their own legal departments and can bring defamation and libel suits against him. Will they do it and further expose themselves, or will they keep quiet. Let’s watch and see.
Kejriwal himself is waiting to launch his anti-graft political party. Will this help him in his crusade to make India corruption free? Remains to be seen.