THE THREE businessmen, arrested with Rs 1.04 crore in new notes on Tuesday, have claimed that since they were getting new currency notes at several shops they owned, they had decided to make money by exchanging the them for the demonetised currency for a cut, Thane police said. The businessmen said they were willing to exchange notes after charging a 20 per cent commission. Since they had declared ‘cash in hand’ in their balance sheets, they could deposit old currency notes in banks without raising any eyebrows, the police said.
The Thane police on Tuesday detained three businessmen from near the Thane civil hospital after getting a tip-off that the three were coming to exchange new currency with demonetised notes and charging 20 per cent for it. The businessmen, identified as Gaurav Picha, Harish Raut and Chintan Rambhiya, were apprehended with Rs 1.04 crore. The police then detained them for questioning to find out the source of the new notes. Income Tax officials were also informed about the case.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Parag Manere said “The businessmen have been claiming that the source of the currency is not illegal. They all have several shops and real estate businesses, and claim to have got a high percentage of the new currency from customers. The rest, they claim, they borrowed from friends after realising they could use these new notes to exchange old demonetised notes and keep a cut.”
Thane police officials are verifying the version given by the trio. “We have informed the Income Tax officials about the case. They would be the competent authority to probe the case further,” the officer said. An officer said that the trio have given some more names of people suspected to be involved in exchange of old currency notes.