Senior RBI official arrested in Bengaluru for ‘illegal currency exchange’

Arrested, kidnap

A senior central bank official is one of nine men arrested in Bengaluru by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), for allegedly exchanging Rs 1.50 crore of banned currency notes.

Sources in the CBI said the RBI official was K Michael, a special assistant with the Bengaluru branch. However, no official confirmation of his name or designation was made available immediately.

The other eight people, sources said, were middlemen who allegedly got money converted for a fee. Nearly Rs 1 crore was found in the raids that were conducted over the past few days. “They charged between 15% to 30% for conversion,” a report to Times of India.

The CBI unearthed this scam by having its officials pose as ‘customers’ looking to get old currency changed illegally, and after paying a commission as bribe to the alleged middlemen.

Sources further said that one of the middlemen was related to a government official. No confirmation on who this official was immediately available.

These arrests are the latest in a slew of arrests since November 8 – when demonetisation became effective – for money laundering or illegally exchanging currency.