Fiction : The MBA GANG : Chapter Four - Know The Players Before You Play
Vinod Lal's evening news started the planned fire. Newspapers, magazines, television news channels, journalists and whoever got wind of the news - all of them were ringing his office, non-stop. They wanted to know more. They wanted to know what Lal had not told on TV.
Anything which had the words Switzerland and Indian Politicians attached to it was bound to be the news of the year. The vacuum of scintillating material in the main stream media was about to be filled again. Over and over again.
Material for front pages, editorials, views, opinions had now been provided by Lal. This material would now be chewed over and over again till the media ended up chewing the air trapped between the bones. Jobs would stay intact. There would be promotions. Ad agencies would roll in more money in the next 24 hours. Much more money than the producers or editors would have ever expected. Every associated career with anything called news had received a job security extension for another year.
Lal was wearing a grey suit, frameless glasses and Issey Miyake when he read the last segment of his weekly edition...
"... I have a copy of an email sent to me by an anonymous person. This copy is a bank statement from Bank Bdamas AG Zurich. The account is held by 4 Indian persons.
Nothing wrong with it, but the sender has blacked out the 16 digit account number and has mentioned in his email that as a true Indian it is the true duty to inform us that the account is held by a group of Indian politicians or those connected to this group of Indian politicians. I can read the first 4 digits which are 3581 and the account is held by... the first names have been blacked out in this email but the last names on the account are Modi, Mahapatra and Moopanar.
If you look at these three names you will find that there are many in Indian politics by these last names. MLAs, MPs, Members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, elected representatives of the state legislature... so who would they be? Who was the sender of this email?
And above all, the shocking part of this entire revelation - How can 3 Indian politicians have 560 million US Dollars in a Swiss bank account? How did they make accumulate such huge wealth? Questions, questions and many more questions?
Our investigation on this continues and to view what we uncover stay tuned to India's number one news channel..."
Fear, doubt and panic stepped into the hearts of politicians or those who were connected to anyone that had anything to do with politics. Phones started ringing all over the country. Anyone who knew anyone in Indian politics was either making a call or receiving one. And if a politician knew or was even remotely related to a Modi or a Mahapatra or a Moopanar, their overloaded pumping hearts were right in their mouths while frantically calling people to check if the account belonged to them.
The lines were jammed. It was a mad calling frenzy all over the telecommunication lines of India.
The real Modi meanwhile had returned from his sixth trip to the bathroom. The news had upset his stomach real bad. The pace at which he was emptying his Black Label would ensure the bottle would be empty within the next 20 minutes.
His cell phone rang. He checked the caller ID and immediately picked it up.
"Where the fuck are you? I left you many messages, dammit"
"Modi saheb. I've been swamped with calls from Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai and God know what places. How the fuck could they find out?"
"I don't know Moopanar. I don't know. I'm shocked. I have an upset stomach. I... I... fuck.... we are fucked we are fucked!!!"
"Don't say that Modi sahib! Comeon... Shit... how did they find out, how did they find out???"
"We must meet. Catch the next flight to Delhi right away. Meet me at the Gujarat House"
"Ok. I'll see you in two hours. There's a flight leaving at 1030pm."
"Good, I'll call and see where Mahapatra is... " Modi's cellphone beeped, it was Mahapatra calling... "Wait, I think it's him. See you in two hours."
Modi switched over to Mahapatra.
"Mahapatra where the fuck are you?"
"Modi-jee, don't ask where the fuck I am. Ask how fucked up am I? Bhenchod, the asshole Lal, did not read news, he read our fucking death warrant. Why does it happen to us only? This is the second time..."
Modi cut him off "Shh... We are meeting at the Gujarat House in Delhi in 2-3 hours. Can you make it?"
"See you then"
Modi got up to check the time. There was still time before his flight left. He decided to use the restroom again before his drive to the airport. Modi was nervous as hell...
Just before Lal had read the evening segment, Modi had received the call...
"The media is opening the lock on our tijori again. Not everything is known to them, but check the news out and call me back. I want to know if Lal was talking about our account. If he is I want immediate action. Understood?"
Modi's legs had started to vibrate when he put the phone down. He had rushed to switch the TV on, to find Lal just about to begin his evening segment. It was all downhill for Modi from there on.
The Bdamas account had 560 million dollars in it. The account was jointly held by Modi, Mahapatra and Moopanar. There was a fourth person - Manohar - named in the account. Manohar was authorized to make withdrawals with a prior approval from any of the 3 primary owners of the account.
Modi, Mahapatra, Moopanar - the three Ms was what could be defined as the backdoor of Indian politics. The backdoor - where all the black money flowed in. Money that was made from unauthorized deals, illegal approval of vendors, illogical granting of contracts and other methods which were far from being moral and ethical.
The three Ms were in no way involved in Indian politics. They instead were cousins, brother-in-laws, close or far relatives of those politicians who held posts in the Ruling government or sat in the opposition. The three Ms were the ones you went to, incase you wanted to bag a government contract or sell to government your shitty product, without have to compete with anyone else. Dealings were done with the three while their relatives in power kept themselves clean and tidy.
The 560 million in short, truly belonged to four politicians. Two were at present in the Cabinet, one in the opposition and the fourth had retired from active politics. Modi, Mahapatra and Moopanar got a 12% commission out of every deal that fetched them a commission.
The money made from granting these contracts or doing favors would then be channeled to the joint account in Switzerland. Careful accounting had been maintained by Manohar who was the secretary of the retired politician. What portion in the 560 million belonged to which politician had been inked in great detail to the very last cent, by Manohar.
This wasn't the first time this account had come close to exposure. Seven years ago, an over enthusiastic CBI official had come across this account and had ordered a chase to finish, to get the main culprits behind this black money. Seven years ago this account was held and maintained by another person. Manohar as usual had the same authorization that he had today, but then this account belonged to just person.
To tackle the problem then the four politicians had immediately brought in Modi, Mahapatra and Moopanar and had quickly arranged for the money to be transferred into a new account, the account that Lal had talked about this evening.
Then the 3 Ms were ordered to make the person dissappear, the one who had then held the account. The 3 Ms had complied accordingly...
Modi checked his watch. Almost time. He quickly took his bag and stepped into the car.
"Airport. Jaldi jaldi."
His driver switched on the VIP light on top of the Ambassador and stepped on the gas.
Modi was in deep thought.
Who emailed to Lal? How did that person find out about our account? Is there someone we missed identifying seven years ago and this person has come back to fuck us up again?
Modi thanked God that no one had yet made a connection between the two incidents, one that happened seven years ago and the other that had popped open tonight. Thank God no one knows about the connection.
Modi was quite mistaken in his assumption...
He was known as the CigarMan in the club. Lal's evening bulleitin was still on. CigarMan chewed on his cigar watching Lal's revelations with an amused look. There was nothing in Indian politics that surprised him anymore. He had recently celebrated his 62nd birthday. His hair was all grey, thick and combed back. His face could not hide the fact that he had seen some of the most troubled times and had fought valiantly each time trouble arose.
CigarMan picked up his scotch and took a sip.
"It's beginning all over again"
WhiteShirt sat next to him in an oversized cushion chair imported from Europe.
"Well I think its time we let the bastards cry". It was GlassView who spoke.
"You have info you like to share?"
GlassView never ceased to be amazed how CigarMan would always know there was something to be told.
"Well, J came back. Landed in Bombay. Stayed for 48 hours and left"
"About 12 hours ago, J was in Kaula Lampur, but I'm quite positive Bangkok or Tokyo is where J will be in the next 24 hours"
CigarMan sucked on his cigar... deep in thought.
After all running the Cigar Club was the biggest responsibility anyone could have in the country of India.
The Cigar Club. Not many knew about it. A few hovering around the corridors of Indian politics or actively involved in the Center heard whispers or rumors. There were hush hush talks during dinner or drinks about something called the Cigar Club. But no one knew if it existed for real. It was, to many, a conspiracy theory that just spiced up the conversation over patiala pegs.
But the Cigar Club truly existed. 51 members. 80% of them belonged to the IAS or the IPS. The rest 20% were either politicians, industrialists or social workers. They came from various fields. Some were in key positions in the RAW, CBI, Police, Customs, Secretaries in key fields at the Center, Leading businessmen, or Politicians at the State or Central level.
The Cigar Club existed. It had been in existence for about 20 years now. Started by CigarMan, who after Indira Gandhi's death vowed to bring in a group of like mined people who loved their country and puked on corruption. A band of likeminded people who desired to keep the country away from the stranglehold of politicians who acted as dictators. They wanted to be the positive charge in a system being sucked rotten by the vermin who occupied all levels in the ladder of Indian politics.
The objective was simple. Live among the vermin. Act as if you are one. But be the watch guard. And help change things from behind the scenes.
As a result the Cigar Club had been the unknown, invisible hand that had brought in policies, changed scenarios, exposed scandals and gave a hard time to all those detrimental India's development.
But no one knew it was because of them. Living as vermin among the vermin cloaked quite efficiently, the actions they committed. It all appeared natural and part of the system.
But the Cigar Club knew. Everything appeared natural on the outside but things were pushed, forced, planned, and maneuvered in the inside of the Cigar Club to bring about the changes. Manmohan Singh suddenly found himself becoming the Finance Minister, Laloo Prasad Yadav suddenly found himself exposed in the Chara Ghotala, KPS Gill found himself leading the Punjab Police force to wipe out terrorism, or India Politicians warming up to the USA... it was all natural, yet it was all choreographed, quite perfectly.
Nothing escaped the Cigar Club. What politician, bureaucrat, department or industrialist was up to what... nothing escaped the ever watchful eyes of the Club.
CigarMan was still deep in thought. Perhaps it was time to get the rats out in the open.
Just then BrownBeard walked in...
"Modi, Moopanar and Mahapatra are coming to Delhi... "
"Ah. They must be shitting in their pants. Obviously Minister-jee must have asked Modi to take immediate action"
GlassView put his phone down. He had been talking to AngelEyes to get more information.
"Just spoke to AngelEyes. Get this... J has assembled a group of executives in Bombay, who are flying to Delhi. I'm a 100% positive it's related to this matter"
CigarMan finally spoke "It's obvious. Quite clear if you may ask. J wants revenge. The objective seems to be to empty the account from these 3 Ms."
WhiteShirt: "But who passed the info to Lal? I don't think J has access"
BrownBeard: "HA!!! Who else? It's Osawa!"
There was silence. The details of what was going on both in front and behind the incident was gradually becoming very clear to the members of the Cigar Club sitting in a quiet farmhouse in Gurgaon.
CigarMan got up and walked to the fireplace. He turned to BrownBeard
"Get Ashwin Kumar to track all the characters in this incident. I want a minute by minute report."
Ashwin Kumar, a young RAW officer was someone the Cigar Club had been watching closely. An honest, upright, intelligent officer, the Cigar Club was tracking him to see if he would be an ideal fit for the Club. This was going to be his test.
"And who are these executives that J has assembled?"
"Top notch. Highly educated and have successful track records in their field. They are flying to Delhi using different flights by tomorrow evening"
"Hmm... who are they?"
"Don't have their names yet... but according to my field operative, he overheard them jokingly calling themselves the MBA gang"
All the members in the room suddenly looked up at GlassView as if to hear the name again...
"Ah the MBA Gang... ", truly he chuckled "This will be quite a test for Ashwin Kumar. WhiteShirt get him rolling into action immediately"
"And maintain distance?" WhiteShirt inquired.
"Yes maintain distance. No contact. Something tells me this is going to be fun. The MBA Gang..." CigarMan chuckled again... This was going to be fun...