The Cyberabad police on Friday nabbed a Kerala-based gang that duped people using Brazilian currency notes, claiming that they could exchange them for higher rates in India.

The Special Operations Team caught four members of the gang, Prem Chandra (35) and Haneef (30) - both from Kerala - and V. Balaji Reddy (52), a civil engineer from West Godavari district, and Ch. Krishnam Raju (24) a computer salesman.

Brazilian currency notes (Real) equivalent to Rs. 50 lakh Indian currency were seized from them, SOT Additional DCP K. Goverdhan Reddy said.

Kareem of Kerala, who is believed to have supplied the currency notes to the gang, is at large. “We’re verifying if Kareem has links with any foreigners or banned outfits,” Mr. Reddy said.

Police believe Kareem was the kingpin in the racket as the arrested maintained that he was procuring foreign currency notes through various sources.

The gang members would approach individuals, claiming that they were well connected with foreign currency exchange agents and manage to secure ‘Reals’ for less than half the original rate.

“Find someone requiring Brazilian currency or currency exchange agents and offer them these ‘Reals’. You can make money overnight,” they would tell the gullible.

Actually, no civilian is permitted to exchange Brazilian currency. Hoping to make a profit, some people had even paid in Indian currency to the gang only to realise that ‘Reals’ cannot be exchanged!

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