The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) busted a network of Hawala operators who were hoarding large amounts of cash possibly leading to the cash crunch. The network employed an innovative system of identification through digital equipment that negates the necessity of the transporter and the receiver to reveal their own identities. Above all, the bust indicates that Hawala operators are once again active and Indian authorities are working hard towards tackling the menace.
ATS DIG Vikas Kumar told Firstpost, “The origin of the cash was Delhi. Bhilwara and Udaipur were two nodal points for further transportation of the cash. Their modus operandi was unique. The person who picked up the bag full of cash used to show a particular signature on his mobile phones. The person handing over the cash and the receiver too had a similar signature that was sent by the syndicate through WhatsApp messenger. In layman language, it is called ‘chinh dena’ (establishing identity). There was no need for them to reveal each other’s identity, just the message containing signature was enough. We started tracking them from the place of origin.”
We had reported earlier that citizens spread across India did not really believe there was any cash crunch in the country. The general belief among the public appeared to be that the ‘cash crunch’ was a myth of the media’s making. Some even claimed that pictures of long lines in front of the ATM during demonetization were being re circulated right now to stir a narrative of a massive cash crunch.
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The government has been proactive thus far in countering the cash crunch that indeed appears to have materialized in certain areas. The cause of the crunch has been attributed to a sudden, unexpected spurt in the demand for cash which has led to an unequal distribution of cash between the states leading to a cash crunch in certain regions of certain states, which is sought to be rectified by restoring the balance in cash flow by supplying the areas facing cash crunch with more notes.
Moreover, it is pretty common in our country for a person to have to visit more than one ATM to get their cash. Unavailability of cash in one or two ATMs in no way signifies a cash crunch. The frenzy that is sought to be created by the media and the opposition appears to be in view of the looming Karnataka Assembly Elections in May and the General Elections next year. The situation on the ground appears to be quite different than what it is being portrayed to be.
After the bust by the ATS of Hawala operators, one is inclined to believe that miscreants are involved as well in creating an artificial cash crunch. However, the crunch is nowhere as severe as the media and the opposition are portraying it to be. The government believes the situation is already under control and will return to normalcy in the space of a day or two as they appear to be succeeding in their efforts to tackle the problem.