Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Odisha Police on Wednesday questioned people queuing up in front of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) office in Bhubaneswar to exchange Rs 2000 currency notes.

Though the EOW officials were tight-lipped on their business at the spot, an official said, “We are here to see why such a long queue is made here. We have not received any complaints from anybody. We are here just to check the amount people are exchanging and what are their occupations.”

It is pertinent to mention here that OTV had earlier aired the news of the long queue which has been witnessed since the last 2-3 days in front of the RBI, Bhubaneswar. On camera, several people informed that they were getting Rs 300 for exchanging Rs 2000 notes having a face value of Rs 20,000.

Sources said that ‘some people’ are paying Rs 300 to those who are standing in queues to get Rs 2000 notes up to Rs 20,000 exchanged for them. Many claimed that they do not know about the identity of such people who are paying Rs 300 to get the money exchanged at the RBI.

“We do not know the person but we are only getting Rs 300 for exchanging ten notes of Rs 2000 worth Rs 20,000 by standing in the queue,” said a depositor.

Regional director of RBI, Bhubaneswar, Sarada Prasanna Mohanty said, that every day they are receiving Rs 2000 notes worth Rs 2 crore. Out of which, around 95 per cent is being exchanged while only 5 per cent is getting deposited in the account.

Mohanty also said, “We have all data and CCTV footage of the people exchanging Rs 2000 currency notes. If investigating agencies, be it ED or EOW, ask for information, we will provide all documents and extend all possible cooperation.” 

Financial analyst SK Sabat said that black money hoarders are taking advantage of the loopholes to legitimise their ill-gotten money.