Forex scam: Look out for lira, cruzado

Gangs try to sell scrapped foreign currencies.

Hyderabad: Scammers are using demonetised foreign currency to loot businessmen in the city. Turkish currency lira and Brazilian currency cruzados, which were taken out of circulation 10 years ago, have been smuggled into Hyderabad and are being sold as real money at ‘less than face value’ to gullible victims.

Three such rackets have been busted by the Commissioner’s Task Force. But according to cops the penetration of this fake money is deep and there are several gangs trying to sell these currencies to the uninformed.

Cruzado was Brazil's currency from 1986 to 1989, after which the currency was replaced with Cruzado Novo. The pre-2005 Turkish currency lira has also been taken out of circulation a long time back. The scammers in AP and TS have accessed both these outdated currencies and are now trying to disburse it in the local market.

Three weeks back, two scammers were nabbed, when they tried to loot citizens by distributing pre-2005 Turkish lira currency notes. The duo brought outdated currency from Srikakulam and convinced gullible victims that it was genuine and promised to sell it at ‘cheaper than face-value’. One man bought the currency, only to realise later that its value was equivalent to ordinary paper. The duo was in the process of selling off lira worth '10 lakh to more victims, when cops nabbed them.

In another case, police arrested a five-member gang while they were trying to sell cruzado in the city. The gang from Mahbubnagar had outdated Brazilian cruzados, worth Rs 1.2 crore. They had told a trader that each 500 Cruzado note was equal to Rs 12,000 and managed to dupe him of Rs 1.24 lakh. Similarly, last year in June, police busted a gang trying to sell the cruzados at Abids. The police seized the cruzados in denominations of 1000 equivalent to Rs 2 crore.

“Foreign smugglers think Indians can be fooled easily”, said an official of the Commiss-ioner’s Task Force.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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