Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh batted for his fiancée Bollywood actor and model Hazel Keech after she alleged that a money transfer agency denied her a wire transfer in Jaipur because her name because was not “Hindu enough”.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Keech expressed her outrage against Western Union and an official called Peeyush Sharma, who refused to give her the money, accusing them of racism. Keech, who appeared in Salman Khan starrer Bodyguard, wrote that she did not receive the money at that particular office.
Oh and fyi, no i didnt get my money https://t.co/Rq7eIyEcWG— Hazel Keech (@hazelkeech) August 30, 2016
Keech’s friend Insia, who was with her when the incident happened, tweeted: “I can’t believe this just happened to us.”
Yuvraj Singh, who got engaged to Keech in November last year in Bali, soon supported her on Twitter. Accusing the company and the official of racial discrimination, the cricketer sought action against Sharma.
Mr Piyush Sharma @WesternUnion in Jaipur this behaviour will not be tolerated,we would expect some serious action to be taken against him !— yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) August 30, 2016
Western Union told Hindustan Times on Thursday that it is investigating the matter and will take suitable action against the person accused by Keech.
A Western Union spokesperson said that in India such “cross-border remittances under the money transfer services scheme are allowed (only) for personal remittances.”
The spokesperson added remittances are made only after the identities of both the parties are verified, and the agent is expected to conduct “additional due diligence in case of uncertainty”.
“This is not who we are. We do consider the diversity of our customers, our employees and our agents as an asset that we value and advocate. We’re sorry for whatever happened,” the spokesperson said.
The company later told HT that Keech received her remittance at another agent location.
However, it appeared Keech was not the only customer subjected to such “racial” treatment as another user of the money transfer system @kaaashif tweeted on Tuesday with the same complaint.
Dear @WesternUnion, I sent money to a friend in India and your agent asked for my and my friend's religion. why is that needed?— کاشف الہدیٰ (@kaaashif) August 30, 2016
The money transfer firm apologised “for such situation” in a series of tweets.
“We do want to be sure you know that our business decisions are not made on the basis of race, religion, national, origin, colour, gender, age, or disability. Please provide us with further information about your transaction. We’d like to review the details of your issue,” it said.
Western Union has been replying to all such queries and complaints on Twitter via direct message (DM). So the resolution in this matter was not clear.
Banking registration forms generally seek personal details, which may also include religion and other information that banks sometimes use to understand the demographics of their consumers.