DailyPost 2138

In our march towards a predominantly digital financial transaction economy, the large pile up of cash and the transactions which have transpired in the cash supply chain, can simply be worrying. It also gives a very clear indication, as to how far we are from digital transaction economy and even much farther off from monitoring it, that such pile up does not happen. It also gives us a very clear-cut idea as to the depth of the financial trail we have been able to decipher and lay our hands on. We have had the biggest cash seizure sometime back in Kanpur, UP in Dec last year, gold etc notwithstanding.

The formula of total cash in circulation and the add up of the transactions should be able to point fingers on the culprits, if drilled down to the last transaction. That should be the beauty of a digitally enabled and big data analytics monitored economy. Leave aside the cash part of it, properties after properties have been bought and that does not in any way, raise suspicion, is certainly a matter of surprise. Pattern anomalies the digital systems should have been able to throw up by now. For people to go unscathed for a decade or more, with blatant collection, is an indication of the fact, as to what ground we still need to cover to be par with the financial kingpins and that too from the government as two recent big seizure cases have shown.

The seizure connected to a bureaucrat and now a politician / model / aide, throws up certain clues from a financial crime control / prevention / detection point of views. In both the cases it was well known what they were indulging in, in the bureaucrat’s there is a track record of enquiries as well. Accepting that financial intelligence is easy to come and it has to be concrete, there would have been a very good chance to stumble on the landmine of intelligence, if the first clues are followed, the right way, with the investigative regimen that is required. This ill-gotten financial empire was not created in a day. It all happened right under the nose of the government.

Political intelligence is a perfected game, it can track till the last voter, till the last elected representative, and variety of other information, that never sees the light of the day. How deep and perfect would be political financial intelligence, given the nature of our electoral polity and wide variety of cases which have been making news for a long time. But rarely you get actionable intelligence even against the political adversaries. Is there a tacit understanding among them all. Recently, we have a case of three MLAs caught with good amount of cash. It has been raining cash. If this is the tip of iceberg, what would be the size of illegal cash economy? And even more worrisome, how close are we to catching digital tricksters whose modus operandi in a large number of transactions would be even difficult to comprehend, large part working in and out of country’s borders.

Sanjay Sahay

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