KOZHIKODE: Trust people with black money reserves to come up with clever ways to deal with the after effects of demonetisation. Now, a pan-India racket is helping black money hoarders in the state smuggle out large quantities of banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes to Gulf countries.
It is a last minute attempt to exchange them using a June 30 deadline of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to Non Resident Indians (NRIs).
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has upped its surveillance following inputs about the racket continuing its operation in Kerala to help those unable to exchange their reserves of phased out bank notes. Their modus operandi was exposed when a DRI team apprehended a person in Kozhikode carrying demonetised currency worth Rs 1 crore.
The accused, N B Sirajuddin of Thrissur, was nabbed by the team comprising Deputy Director G Sabareesh and officers K Salil and U N Ashok.
“We have launched a detailed probe,” an officer told Express. “Preliminary inquiry reveals the racket is exporting demonetised currencies using the NRI window given by the RBI to exchange it. The currencies are smuggled out through airports and it is very hard to detect them using scanners.
All agencies are on the alert. The NRIs are being used to deposit money in accounts at RBI offices in Mumbai and Delhi.”
The investigation has revealed only very few NRIs land at Calicut Airport with demonetised bank notes as the agents prefer airports in Mumbai and other northern states.
“There will be a rush to exchange the demonetised currencies in the next few days because after June 30, the bank notes will become totally worthless. It is suspected the accused has collected the money from a single person in the state,” the officer said.
“The racket is making a huge commission out of this operation. For black money hoarders, any offer is a bonus rather than burn the notes after the deadline,” he said. The police seized large quantities of demonetised currencies from various persons in the state in the past couple of months.
Their modus operandi was exposed when a DRI team apprehended a person in Kozhikode carrying demonetised currency worth Rs 1 crore.
The police seized large quantities of demonetised currencies from various persons in the state in the past couple of months.