Three men, including a forest guard of Jamnagar, were arrested in Rajkot early on Saturday while they were trying to exchange Rs 1 crore in scrapped currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Special Operation Group (SOG) of Rajkot police arrested Dipak Nandha (44), Trilok Dave (42) and Suleman Bhatti (48) from Mavadi Road at 3 am. Police also seized a scooter from them. While Nandha is a Surat-based jeweller, Dave works as a forest guard in Jamnagar. Bhatti, a resident of Jamnagar, was a friend of Dave, police said.
“The trio were trying to exchange the old notes for Rs 22 lakh when they were arrested. We have informed the Income Tax officers to find out the source of the demonetised notes,” Rajkot City Police Commissioner Anupam Singh said.
Police said they were waiting for a man who had promised to give them Rs 22 lakh cash in exchange of the old currency notes. “But before the man could reach the spot, we arrested the three men. Bhatti has confessed that he had come with the old notes from Surat after Dave promised him to get it exchanged,” SOG Inspector Kismatsinh Zala said.
Police found 9,400 notes of scrapped Rs 500 and 5,300 demonetised notes of Rs1,000 in a bag, the three men were carrying.
Following demonetisation in November last year, the RBI had set March 2017 as the deadline to deposit scrapped notes in the bank. For the NRIs, the period has been extended till June 30. A case of non-cognisable offence has been registered against them. Two men were arrested with counterfeit notes of Rs1.10 crore face value in Amreli on Thursday.