NEW DELHI: An undercover operation by Cobrapost has exposed major construction companies willing to accept and launder illicit black money.
The expose of 35 real estate companies showed they were willing to take illicit money and convert it into legit by allowing their clients to buy properties.
Promising to do bulk property transactions ranging from 10 per cent to 90 per cent in black money were two real estate company CMDs, 10 managing directors, 15 directors and executive directors, three CEOs and COOs, a president and a vice-president, two AVPs, four heads of marketing and sales, three general managers, three assistant general managers and many other senior employees.
One employee even offered to take Rs 100 crore in black and convert it to white with help from non-banking finance companies in a clear violation of laws. According to the tapes, these officials said accepting payments in black was nothing new for them and that it was an accepted norm of the real estate industry. Some of the real estate officials were caught on camera ready to accept black money abroad via hawala.
All this endorses the fact that rampant use of black money is a well-known reality of the realty sector in India, Cobrapost editor Aniruddha Bahal said.
The 35 real estate companies caught on tape have pan-India presence across nine states willing to do bulk transactions in black money. These companies admit helping their clients convert black money into white by letting them pay in cash a substantial part of the sale price of the properties they buy.
The black money component in these deals ranges from 10 per cent to 80 per cent.Many were shown agreeing to collect cash from cities other than their operational bases, even from countries such as Dubai via hawala. They offered to understate the sale price of the property so that the buyer can save on stamp duty, and proposed to sell an undeveloped property even without obtaining necessary approvals for the project.