Yes, there is a merit in using technology to transfer currency, because it is easy for the Crime Branch police to act on a case.
Let me recap. Over a year ago, I was on a television channel, where I shared my dream of starting a coaching academy for IAS and IPS aspirants. The next day, this young woman arrived in my house in an autorickshaw and said she wanted to donate Rs 25 lakh to this academy I had spoken of on television. When I asked her for her source of income, she said a leading airline owed her Rs 80 lakh. She said a number of people booked air tickets through her since she could get a business class ticket (Rs 1. 5 lakh) for a discounted price of Rs 50,000. She convinced my family by using the modern day bible, Google. The site said tickets were on offer on occasions at 80 per cent discount. When I asked this woman how the airline could afford to do so, she blithely said these were tickets meant for the airlinestaff, and because they were not availing of it, it was put up for sale to general public.
My son and daughter-inlaw pilot tested the system. They flew to Switzerland, but their return tickets were preponed – and not by them. This woman said she would take care of it, and did so. Over a period of time, word spread and many people gravitated towards her.
However, there were glitches. Whenever someone had a problem, she would fix it—she had half a dozen debit/ credit cards, and she would juggle them and do a band-aid fix. But then problems became bigger. A PNR would be generated to convince a customer, but a day later it would disappear. It is not very easy to generate a PNR. Her goose was cooked.
When we contacted the police, the Crime Branch police was very clear. They would track the transactions and if there was a case, they would follow it diligently to the end. As all my transactions were by bank transfer, it was easy to pin her down.
If one is tempted by an offer at a huge discount, one should be suspicious. There could be a crime hiding behind the tempting discount.
The writer is an actor, theatre personality and politician