Is Nepal the next hub for demonetised notes?

On Sunday, Nepal police nabbed two people with demonetised currency with a face value of Rs 68.2 lakh.

world Updated: Sep 03, 2017 20:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
Nepal Police,demonetisation,banned notes
File photo of the demonetised Rs 1000 and Rs 500 bank notes.(HT Photo)

A series of arrests by the Nepal Police, resulting in the recovery of banned Indian currency, seems to suggest that the Himalayan nation is turning into a safe haven for scrapped bank notes post-demonetisation.

On Sunday, police, acting on a tip-off, nabbed two people with demonetised currency with a face value of Rs 68.2 lakh. This followed a mass arrest in May, in which 18 people were arrested with scrapped bank notes worth Rs 2.96 crore.

Both Indian and Nepalese nationals have been caught with the banned notes, and there has been at least one instance of a North Korean being nabbed with demonetised currency.

Central Bureau of Investigation spokesperson deputy superintendent Mira Chaudary told Hindustan Times that since November 2016, the unit has arrested 34 people and seized demonetised currency with a face value of Rs 3.45 crore from various parts of the country.

According to the police, each note was purchased for Rs 25 from India before being brought to Nepal. Chaudary said three land routes between India and Nepal — Kakrvitta, Birgunj and Bhairawha — are used to smuggle in the banned notes.

“After being purchased in India, the banned notes were brought to Nepal and middlemen sold them at a higher price to local agents,” she said.

Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation, Nepal has been requesting Indian authorities to arrange exchange facilities for banned Indian notes parked in its financial institutions, which reportedly runs into several hundred crores. However, the two governments are yet to come to an agreement over the same, despite several rounds of talks.

First Published: Sep 03, 2017 20:14 IST