The Hyderabad police, in one of its biggest arrests since demonetisation, seized banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes worth Rs 4.41 crore on Sunday, and arrested nine people.
According to reports, the Commissionerâ€™s Task Force (West) sleuths received a tip-off that a businessman and his associates were meeting to exchange the notes, and raided a house in Banjara Hills.
The arrested include, businessmen Kalyan Prasad and Sikandar Ali, car dealer Mohammed Farooq, pearl dealer Gowtham Agarwal, rice trader Mir Muzaffar, a government employee Surya Prasad, builder Harinath Babu, chartered accountant V Rajendranath, and Mustafa Siddiqui, a student.
The police said that the accused had been friends for a while, and Kalyan was approached by the others a few days ago, and he was asked if he could help in exchanging the banned notes.
Kalyan revealed that he had some demonetised notes too, and the accused managed to pool in Rs 4.41 crore together.
Following this, they contacted Babu and Rajendranath, to help them exchange the old notes.
â€śThe duo struck a deal with them to arrange new currency notes by deducting a commission of 30%,â€ť TF (West) Inspector L. Raja Venkat Reddy said.
â€śOn Sunday, Kalyan Prasad, Mohd. Farooq, Mir Muzaffar, Mustafa Siddiqui and Surya Prasad arrived at Gowtham Agarwalâ€™s place in Banjara Hills, called K. Harinath Babu and V. Rajendranath, and asked him to come with new currency notes,â€ť another police officer added.
The police then swooped in, and took the cash and people into custody.
In the first week of April, The CBI registered a case against a State Bank of India (SBI) cashier in Hyderabad, on the charge of exchanging Rs 1.09 crore in demonetised currency with legal tender.
The central agency booked K Srihari, head cashier in SBI's Nehru Ganj Branch, and others for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and falsification of accounts under the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.
"Srihari entered into a criminal conspiracy with unidentified private persons and fraudulently facilitated and exchanged Rs 1.09 crore in demonetised currency with legal currency," a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) official had said.
He said the exchange was effected during November 10-30 last year by using "SWAP methodology and violated the Reserve Bank of India guidelines to exchange specified bank notes with legal tender".