Sting operation reveals the presence of black money in Bollywood
All three film- makers were seen talking to undercover reporters posing as investors. The sting operators were seen persuading the film-makers to let them invest money in film productions in a way that would help them convert black money into white.
The show titled It's The Really Dirty Picture also had stings operated on starlets Payal Rohatgi and Aarti Chabbria, who demanded small portions of money be paid to them by cheque while the rest of their remuneration for working in a film be paid in cash.
The first sting on 'Ra.One' director Anubhav Sinha saw the film-maker assuring that the 'investors' would surely "get a profit of 10 or 11 per cent". "I can assure you that if you put five rupees in, say, two films... then I'll definitely make six of the five in one year," Anubhav is seen telling the reporter posing as an investor.
"It mostly happens that people invest but their name doesn't come even on the posters of the film, so in your case also we should do something like that since you are so secretive," he says.
Sinha later introduces the undercover reporter to his chartered accountant D. K. Dubey, who assures that it is not wrong to exploit investments in the film industry to convert black money into white.
The black money is used to cover unaccounted production costs, even under-the-table actor fees.
The investor is later paid back in cheque from the film's profits. And top film-makers such as Sinha who aid this process take their cut from the investor's profits.
Vashu Bhagnani, one of the biggest producers of Bollywood, who has made films such as 'Hero No. 1', 'Coolie No. 1', 'F. A. L. T. U' and 'Bade Miyan Chote Miyan', was seen saying, "The person needs to be genuine. We should not get caught by income tax officials." When the reporter insisted on investing Rs. 10 crore, Vashu said, "(Invest) Rs. 8 crore in cash and Rs. 2 crore by cheque... the paper work will be there only for the Rs. 2 crore." Vashu, in fact, made a further offer saying the 'investor' could buy the all-India distribution rights of his upcoming films for a sum of Rs. 100 crore.
"On 13th, I'm starting 'Ajab Gazab Love'. There is Jackky (Bhagnani), Kirron Kher, Arshad Warsi and Arjun Rampal (in the film). For 100 crore, I'll give you rights for 18 films," he says.
When we later contacted Vashu, he categorically denied black money was used in Bollywood.
"I was only humouring the investor. We can easily make out who can put in that kind of money," he claimed.
Anees Bazmee, who has directed blockbusters such as 'Ready', 'No Entry', 'Singh Is Kinng' and 'Welcome', was seen comparing black money in Bollywood with that in real estate. "When we buy a flat, if it costs Rs. 10,000 per square feet, we give cash on agreement that it costs Rs. 6,000 square feet only," says Bazmee, who met 'the investor' at a Juhu Hotel.
The sting operation also had 'Tanu Weds Manu' and 'Bas Ek Pal' producer Shailesh R. Singh, claiming he would sign Irrfan for his new film, and saying that actors by and large preferred to be paid more in black money than white.
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Date 17-05-13, Duration 1:55, Views 137