A week after Modi’s announcement on demonetization, widespread rumours started making rounds in both the Telugu states on the commission agents’ business in turning block money into white. It is alleged that these agents are making a cut of 30,000 for every one lakh notes with 500 or 1000 denominations.
In a sting operation, TV-9 exposed a currency notes racket in Vijayawada on Sunday. Kudos to the channel’s reporter Ashok for his good work and lively live commentary on the issue. Going by this expose, some gangs are behind this business even as commoners are struggling hard in queues to withdraw meager amounts from their bank accounts.
The TV-9 operation stated at 7.30 pm on Saturday when a woman had called up the TV-9 reporter to offer white notes (damn new currency notes) in exchange of the de-legalised notes. The reporter recorded the conversation with the woman, who ‘finally’ gave 29 percent offer. It means, she was willing to give Rs.71,000 worth new currency for every one lakh rupees. “They are new notes. Don’t worry. We have already exchanged 4-5 crores so far. The market rate is 34 percent but I can give you a final rate of 29 percent,” she said while agreeing for door delivery.
As planned, the reporter arranged a secret camera at a mutually agreed place and exposed the illegal operation of middlemen. Initially, the women came with a man and disclosed that 150 crore rupees of black money belonged to a hospital in Hyderabad was converted into white. Later a group of people joined the duo in the ‘exchange business.’
The team claimed that they have the blessings of politicians, police officials and bank managers in the deal. “There is no worries from department (police). Bundles are coming with police protection. Don’t worry,” one of the agents heard saying.
“They dropped the names of big wigs but we don’t want to disclose them as we can’t check the veracity of it. But going by their disclosure, many big personalities are involved in this racket,” the TV-9 reporter Ashok said.
The team also brought new notes worth Rs.50,00,000 to exchange with black or unaccounted money.