Demonetisation: Cash-hoarders courier old currency to NRIs to exchange

Cash hoarders in India are using courier services to send old INR 500 and INR 1,000 notes to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) for exchange, said the Indian Customs Department. This came to light after the department registered such cases.

Indian currency is experiencing an upheaval.
Indian currency is experiencing an upheaval. Photo courtesy: Wikimedia

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the deadline for exchanging demonetised currency for NRIs was till June 30.

Custom officials have reportedly seized over INR 1 lakh in such notes. “The aim could be to take help of their relatives or friends abroad to get the old notes exchanged with the new ones,” an official was quoted as saying. Customs officials informed about two such cases where couriers were booked from Punjab for Australia and the content inside them were declared as books. However, later the officials found demonetised currency inside the boxes. Similar orders for couriers were also made for Korea and the United Arab Emirates containing the defunct notes.
With counterfeit new currency already in circulation and a hawala network based out of Dubai that made a killing off demonetisation, the latest scheme that has been exposed shows the extreme measures that people are resorting to in order to dodge paying penalties on their black money.

It was reported that hawala operators had offered to buy old notes for 70 per cent of their value in the new tender, which allowed them to make a massive profit. In addition, fake INR 2,000 currency notes were being produced four days after the demonetisation order was announced by PM Modi. As time goes on, it is becoming clear that the government’s ‘masterstroke’ has had a ripple effect on the form and quantity of currency floating in the global market.