Nepal Police has asked citizens to be cautious, especially those going to or returning from abroad, to be aware of fraudster rackets offering to exchange dollar bills at a rate cheaper than the market price.
According to data from the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Office, at least 16 cases of currency fraud have been reported in Kathmandu valley in the last six months.
On Friday, Bhaktapur Metropolitan Police Range arrested a racket of five persons, including a woman, from Balkot of Suryabinayak Municipality-2, for their involvement in a series of currency exchange fraud cases.
Those taken into custody were Khel Bahadur Tamang, 36, Rel Bahadur Tamang, 33, Shyam Bahadur Tamang, 56, Ramkrishna Tamang, 25, and Kanchhi Tamang, 32, of Sindhupalchowk.
They are accused of swindling Dipesh Gurung of Lalitpur, who had recently returned home from Dubai, of Rs 500,000 in Gongabu last week.
Similarly, Mansur Gharti of Rolpa was robbed off of Rs 980,000 last week in Bode, Bhaktapur and Sudarshan Thapa of Morang, a returnee from Portugal, had lost Rs 800,000 to the currency fraud racket.
“We have accorded top priority to this issue, as fraudsters continue to dupe scores of unsuspecting public, especially foreign returnees,” an investigating official said.
According to police, the racketeers look for individuals willing to exchange Nepali rupees for foreign currency and convince them to exchange money at ‘a cheap rate’ by showing dollar bills.
After convincing the targets, the swindlers invite them to a solitary place for ‘mutual exchange’ and make off with Nepali rupees by providing them with bundles of paper that have genuine dollar bills only on the top and bottom.