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Bank of Maharashtra Scam: Tip of an iceberg!


I remember my grandmothers’ old idiom. She used to say in Bengali – ‘Oti lobhe tanti nosto’ (More greed spoils Tant – which is cloth fabric). The meaning of this idiom was simple – don’t be too greedy to rise the ladder of success, it might will everything. Perhaps, this is happening with fraudsters, who are looting money from the banks.

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With the latest addition of real estate developer D S Kulkarni added in the league of diamond merchant Nirav Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya, the trust in the centralised banks of the country is slowly diminishing.

While Modi and Mallya flunked the banks and left on a journey worth rememberable, Kulkarni and his wife Hemanti were not that lucky. They were arrested by the police in February, with an accusation of cheating 4,000 investors worth Rs 1,154 crores. Not only that they diverted bank loans amounting to Rs 2,892 crores (close to Rs 3,000 crores).

Releasing the official statement in May, the Punjab National Bank had said that they had a total fraud liability of Rs 14,356 crores, which was carried by Modi and his associates. On the other hand, the liquor baron, Mallya looting Indian banks worth Rs 9,000 crores and is fighting cases in United Kingdom, when he flew.

Counting the total amount by Bank of Maharashtra (BoM), which Modi and Mallya looted and comparing it with Kulkarni’s fraud, it’s just the tip of an iceberg. However, the amount is just  12.5 percent of the combined fraud done by the whales, money is money after all and its people’s hard earned money.

On further investigation, as it continues in India, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Pune police nabbed BoM CEO and Managing Director Ravindra Prabhakar Marathe for his alleged links in the fraud case against Pune-based DSK group. Not only Marathe, but executive director Rajendra Kumar Vedprakash Gupta, former CEO and MD Sushil Muhnot and zonal manager Nityanand Sadashiv Deshpande were picked up by the team.

Though the police claim that the bank official had violated the norms and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines; Is this a new thing? This happened during the Mallya’s time and during the Modi’s time too. After these fraudsters left the country, the police booked bank officials and tried to wash their hands, saying we did our job in the country, however, protocols with foreign nations don’t allow us to attest the alleged culprits. I mean really? Is this the only explanation you have?

I am a little sceptical on Narendra Modi’s assurance on bringing back Mallya and the other Modi to the court of justice by his term ends in 2019. The Bharatiya Janata Party had won the elections in 2014, with one of their promises to bring back the black money from foreign nations.

Leave that promise, the government needs to give an assurance to the people of India now, that their money is safe in the banks . That no diamond merchant or liquor baron or estate developer will rob them. However, with global warming increasing with time, looks like iceberg has just started to flow in the economic waters.

Photo Credits: The Indian Express

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