Turkish currency notes
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Four persons, including a police constable, were arrested here for allegedly trying to sell Turkish lira equivalent to Rs 71 crore to two businessmen for Rs 27 lakh, said a top police official on Wednesday. "On a tip off, the accused were trapped at a multiplex parking lot in the eastern suburbs where they came to deliver the Turkish currency to the businessmen," Bengaluru Commissioner of Police Praveen Sood told reporters here.

The accused were identified as Nagaraju, 40, a police constable from Chitradurga district, Shivaraju, 50, Murali, 40, a Kannada film producer, and Aravind, 40, a realtor from Davangere. "One more accused, Channa Reddy, is absconding. We have formed a team to nab him," said Sood. Police seized the liras, a 9mm revolver, a car and an identity card of the Karnataka CID from the accused.

"The prime accused (Nagaraj) claimed to be a sleuth with the State Intelligence Bureau by flaunting the ID card," said Sood. The accused had approached city-based businessmen Chellasamuel and Shakeer and offered to sell lira worth Rs 71 crore. Though the duo initially agreed to the deal, they grew suspicious and alerted police.

Though Turkey demonetised the lira in possession of the accused in December 2015, it is valid as a legal tender and can be exchanged till December 2019. A case has been registered at against the accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Section 25 of the Arms Act.