Man tries to sell banned Turkish notes, arrested

Man tries to sell banned Turkish notes, arrested

 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
lira.

The police are also on the lookout for Farooq.  

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