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The latest victim of demonetisation


Jan. 18, 2020

Swedish woman on a visit to Kochi ends up coughing up ₹2.5 lakh in fine
An unsuspecting 56-year-old Swedish woman was the latest victim of demonetisation when she ended up coughing up over ₹2.5 lakh in fine and missed her flight to Colombo from the Cochin international airport after she was found in possession of over ₹50,000 in demonetised currency notes.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) had strengthened the security and tightened the baggage screening at the airport ahead of Republic Day, which led to the detection on Tuesday of 49 pieces of ₹1,000 notes and another five ₹500 notes, which had been rendered invalid since demonetisation came to effect on November 2016.
The currency notes were later handed over to the Customs authorities.
‘Not aware’
“She had last travelled to India in 2014 and claimed that the currency notes were from that trip. She said she was not aware of the demonetisation and neither was she told about it by anyone on arrival,” CISF authorities said.
The passenger finally had to pay the fine at the First Class Judicial Magistrate court at Angamaly before she left for Colombo on Saturday.
Criminal offence
As per the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, 2017, possession of more than 10 pieces of invalidated currency notes by individuals and more than 25 for study, research, or numismatics is deemed a criminal offence attracting a minimum fine of ₹10,000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher.
The Act was passed with the aim of eliminating the possibility of a parallel economy using the demonetised currency notes.
The law also stipulates a minimum fine of ₹50,000 for false declarations by those who were abroad during the demonetisation period but were given time to deposit the scrapped notes with the Reserve Bank of India.
Customs authorities, however, said that they had very rarely come across instances of possession of demonetised notes at the Kochi airport.
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