What is it with Turkish Lira demonetised notes that interests currency exchangers in India?

Turkey demonetised a series of notes in 2010. The demonetised notes cannot be used for transactions but can be exchanged at central bank offices. The government has given a 10 year window (10 years!) to exchange the notes which is quite something.

This morning there was a news in Bangalore papers about busting of a gang which offered exchange for the Turkish demonetised notes:

It was a hoard of demonetised currency with a difference: not Indian rupees for clandestine exchange, but Turkish lira with a face value of ₹71 crore.

A group of four in Bengaluru, including a 40-year-old constable, tried to sell the demonetised lira to a businessman, police said. All four were arrested on Tuesday and 78 notes of 500,000 denomination recovered. The exchange rate is ₹18.27 to the lira. “Though the currency has been demonetised in Turkey, it is redeemable and legal tender. It can be exchanged till December 2019,” said City Police Commissioner Praveen Sood. The gang was busted while negotiating the sale for ₹27 lakh at a multiplex in Marathahalli.

While doing google search, I came across three more cases of similar operations being busted, all in Hyderabad. On May 16, 2016, Nov 16, 2016 and March 22, 2017  .

I have always been fascinated by these cash operations. There should be some linkages and reasons to see demonetised Turkish Lira first finding its way in India and then being exchanged…


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