For most ordinary folks, old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 are increasingly becoming worthless as India's Reserve Bank and the government impose more restrictions on where the old currency can be used.
But it turns out that the exchange of demonetised currency through illegal means is rampant through a nation-wide network of illegal "change" agents, the Economic Times reported citing people involved in this trade.
The current going rate of these agents is about 10 per cent, meaning you will have to pay a premium of Rs 10 lakh to exchange Rs 1 crore through these agents, said the report.
According to the report, people involved in the illegal trade alleged that bank managers to cashiers at many bank branches are complicit in this type of dodgy trade.
One such agent told ET that exchange of old money can usually be done in a matter of hours. However, it's usually done on one condition.
"You have to be referred to us by someone who has already exchanged the money," a change agent called Jiten told ET. Some bank officials have been found caught allegedly laundering money and are being prosecuted.
Separately, some agents will take your old money in exchange for interest ranging from 6 to 8 per cent, according to an ET report.
"The only hitch is that you have to lock in your money for a year or so; a few days back an interest of 6% was being offered, it has gone up to 8%," one person involved in such a trade told ET.