A 35-year-old techie was arrested by RMC Yard police when he tried to sell 100 Turkish lira currency notes worth Rs 170 crores. The accused have been identified as Deepesh a resident of 11th Cross in RMC Yard and police recovered 10 lakh denomination of 100 notes and his bike.
A 35-year-old software engineer has been caught trying to sell demonetised Turkish currency in North Bengaluru.
The Turkish government had invalidated the one-million lira banknote in 2005. Effectively, these bills are nothing but worthless pieces of paper.
But Deepesh, of 11th Cross, RMC Yard, tried to act smart. Starting December 22, 2017, he frequently visited shopkeepers near Govardhan Theatre in Yeshwantpur.
He would tell them he had 100 liras of the one-million denomination. At the current exchange rate, the notes were worth Rs 170 crore, he claimed and offered to exchange them for a "measly" Rs 30 lakh.
Hardly worth anything
But he would hide the fact that the currency was demonetised in the wake of hyperinflation in Turkey. Before being banned, a one-million lira banknote would hardly buy even a scoop of ice cream.
One of the shopkeepers clearly saw through Deepesh's plan. He searched the internet and found out about the demonetisation.
He immediately called the police control room.
On December 28, Raghuprasad, a sub-inspector at the RMC Yard police station, formed a team to track Deepesh down.
The sleuths rented a car and went in plain clothes as customers. They told Deepesh they were ready to buy all the Turkish lira notes from him and asked him to get some more.
Deepesh said he had just 100 notes of the one-million denomination and promised to try to get more.
The police immediately arrested him and seized his motorcycle.
Deepesh later told the police that a man named Farooq from Shivajinagar had given him the currency and told him to sell it for Rs 30 lakh.
He offered him a 20% commission. Farooq's mobile phone is now switched off, Deepesh said.
The police suspect Deepesh has links with Chennakesava Reddy, a landlord from Telangana, who was selling the banned Turkish lira in Karnataka.
The Hiriyur police arrested Reddy in October 2016 and seized Rs 87.69 crore worth of Turkish lira from him. Reddy's associate, Nagaraju, a constable from Chitradurga, was arrested in June 2017 with Rs 70.25 crore worth of Turkish
The police are also on the lookout for Farooq.