<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It’s the stuff they don’t teach you at Harvard – how demonetization can be good for banks. Ask the bank officials, they will tell you how.The J&K Bank branch in Malpora, Chrar-i-Sharief, in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. is any looter’s dream. According to Abdul Wahid Shah, Senior Superintendent of Police, Budgam, this branch operates out of hired shops, the branch has no surveillance cameras and no security guards even.So four masked gunmen aboard a WagonR disembarked near the branch and walked into it. They slapped the cashier and asked him to hand over the cash. Then, they took away the money at gunpoint and escaped in the same car. A clean operation.Only the timing of the loot was not so clean. Had they carried it before November 9, the story would have been different. All the currency notes they robbed– around Rs 11 lakh, of the Rs 12,45,240– turned out to be de-registered ones.Police and intelligence agencies, however, are not taking any chances. Demonetization or not, a loot is a loot. Their initial response sounded routine. Hear this police officer: “There was no security guard at the bank and the gunmen were armed to the teeth. Investigations have been fast-tracked to track down the militants.”However, the incident has taught them a different lesson this time. “This is the first heist in Jammu and Kashmir after demonetization. It comes at a time when terror financiers have been hit hard by the move and terror funds are drying up,” said a police officer.According to a source, intelligence sleuths and counter-terrorism experts are working overtime to gauge the effect of demonetization on terror financing. Sounds good. But the moot question is will the terrorists be able to exchange the money?Financial experts maintain that the money looted will not serve any purpose, provided they connive with genuine account holders to convert it into white, and that too in smaller amounts.”I don’t think it will serve any purpose for them except if it is already pre-planned. They will have to divide the money into smaller amounts, say Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000. They have time till December 31. In smaller parts, say Rs 2,000 or Rs 3,000, there is a possibility of getting it exchanged in connivance with relatives or friends who may charge a discount (commission). But it is a huge task and need lots of people. If they deposit the money in bulk, they would be caught,” said Professor Nissar Ali, noted economist and former director of J&K Bank.Still not convinced? Listen to former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah. “If they took old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes they are idiots. If they escaped with bundles of 100s, how the hell did they carry the bags and run?” tweeted Omar.Looks like demonetization is good – at least for those bank branches with lax security arrangements.

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Burglars with guns find themselves no match for demonetization