Gravy train chugs on in Aizawl

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Aizawl, Oct 26 (UNI) A faceless financial institution 'Kar Khat Bank' (one-week bank) as the interest is deposited to the investors on a weekly basis has spread here like wildfire with the Mizos' mentality of making fast money adding fuel to it.

The interest rate varies from agents to agents anything between 10 per cent to 35 per cent as it depends on the mutual agreement between agents and customers, a customer told UNI.

All the leading Banks in Aizawl, SBI, Mizoram Cooperative Apex Bank, Mizoram Urban Cooperative Bank, Mizoram Rural Bank, Vijaya Bank have confirmed that the rate of deposit has drastically declined while that of withdrawal has gone up in their respective banks as people from all walks of life are aboard the gravy train literally.

Nobody knows how this illegal bank is running as investigations failed to reveal the fact to nab the culprits. All that a customer knows is he deposits money to an agent who gives him the interest on a weekly basis without fail. He does not care to whom his agent further deposits the cash as he gets his money.

Rumours have it that not only high government officials, but also a few ministers are involved in the nameless bank which is why investigation was called off half-way.

Strongly refuting the allegations that some SBI officials are involved, NE Circle SBI Officers' Association assistant general secretary C Zoliana says, '' We have conducted a thorough investigation amongst ourselves, and have not found chances of SBI officers involvment ''. But, he has not ruled out the possibilities of involvement of politicians and big businessmen.

What amazes banks officials and economists are how the racketeers manage to keep the bank rolling, for, there are a large number of customers who have earned huge profit from it without being cheated.

'' We just call it faceless transaction. When we tried to probe into it the customers and agents refused to co-operate, bank official said.

When approached, the customers and agents claimed that currency trading through foreign exchange mainly from Mynmar is the mode of this nameless banking operation. This is the main reason why this financial racket gained public trust.

Dr Vanlalchhawna, an economics faculty in Mizoram University, says that this currency trading may be possible but would require the involvement of high officials in the Myanmar government which is not possible.

Main suspects are the usual Indian swindlers who will disappear when they know that the time is ripe. We have experienced similar incidents in the past more than once. The bankers vanished in thin air once they reaped enough money. I wonder why we don't learn from past experiences, he says with a note of regret.

The 'Aizawl gravy train' has also come to the knowledge of RBI.

In a recent meeting with Mizoram top officials here, RBI officials voiced grave concern over this financial racket, how it could affect the Indian economy as a whole, a private bank official informed.

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