Police seized 300 notes of 5,00,000 Turkish lira, which the group was allegedly trying to sell at an exorbitant rate.

Vijayawada police standing in front of seized Turkish lira notes
news Crime Friday, October 23, 2020 - 14:46

Vijayawada Task Force police arrested five men on Friday, who were trying to sell demonetised currency notes of Turkish lira by passing them off as legitimate, valid notes. The five men were arrested in Vijayawada’s Andhra Prabha colony, and police seized 300 notes of demonetised Turkish lira from them. The men were allegedly trying to sell the worthless notes for Rs 45 lakhs. 

Each Turkish lira note was of the 5,00,000 denomination, but essentially worthless as they have been obsolete for many years now. 

According to the Task Force ADCP (Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police) KV Srinivasa Rao, two men from Kadapa district, Manohar and Ravi Kumar, were in possession of 300 notes worth 500,000 lira. When they informed their acquaintance Sudhir Kumar Reddy from Chittoor about this, he suggested that they cheat people and sell them as valid currency. The three of them got in touch with two more men in West Godavari, Venkateswara Rao and Srinu, who were involved in currency exchange and could find them unsuspecting clients. 

The five accused men met in Vijayawada to carry out their plan, when police arrested them based on a tip-off. 

Similar incidents have come to light several times in the past. In 2017, West Godavari police arrested two women in possession of demonetised Turkish lira of 177 crore. In 2018, Rachakonda police arrested four men who were trying to sell similar notes of 84.99 crore, after sourcing them from Kurnool.  According to reports, hundreds of people have been arrested in similar cases in Hyderabad as well. 

Demonetised Turkish lira, Image Credit: Pixabay/Melanie Simon

There have also been cases of attempts to exchange another banned currency, the Brazilian cruzado. A few years ago, a group of men belonging to Vijayawada, Guntur and Suryapet were arrested and found in possession of 596 demonetised Brazilian cruzado notes. The group had reportedly sold 40 notes to a client in exchange for Rs 40,000, after convincing him that each of the worthless notes can be sold for Rs 24,000.