Hyderabad: Post-demonetisation, the illegal exchange of foreign currency for Indian notes continues unabated in the city. Shahran Market alone has as many as a dozen brokers who can be seen wielding wads of Indian notes in an attempt to lure people into exchanging them for foreign currency.
A shopkeeper at Machli Kaman says, “Not much has changed after demonetisation. The brokers were the first people to get new Rs 2,000 currency notes, and later the `500 notes.”
The brokers accept foreign currencies such as Riyals, Dollars, Dirhams, Dinars and Euros in exchange for Indian notes. They also sell foreign currency.
As per the law, only authorised dealers such as banks and full-fledged money changers (FFMC) and their franchisees are allowed to exchange currency in accordance with the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India. The limit on the amount that can be exchanged depends on the nature of the visit. Businessmen, tourists, students, immigrants and employees all have different limits.
Illegal exchange offices are being run at places such as Hussainialam, Falaknuma, Mallepally, and Golconda.
According to sources, people are setting up these offices illegally because an official licence requires a deposit of Rs 50 lakh.
The regularisation of a business brings with it complications such as the obtainment of permissions and licences from the Reserve Bank of India, registration of the company, and tax-related issues.
An official of the city police said that they were not empowered to seize foreign currency unless it was in relation to a criminal case.
“We can catch the people who are illegally dealing in foreign currency and hand them over to the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence for further action,” he said.
Gang caught with fake currency
A gang involved in circulation of counterfeit currency notes with a face value of Rs 100 was caught by Medak police on Monday.
One Dharma Naik along with his friend Shamsuddin of Nizama-bad went to Malda, West Bengal, and brought the fake currency.
They returned to Medak and were planning to head to Maharashtra to exchange the fake currency at village shandies when they were caught. The police recovered the fakes....