Apparently under pressure from Pakistan,Malaysia has slowed down to a crawl an ongoing process to allow India access to a man caught with high quality fake Indian currency on its soil.
The detained man,Siraj Khan,is allegedly a Pakistani,and the fake currency with a face value of Rs 25 lakh is believed to have been headed to India through Nepal and Bangladesh. Recent amendments made to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act have made the supply,circulation and possession of fake Indian currency a terror crime.
Top government sources said the home ministry,after being informed of Khans detention by the MEA,asked its Malaysian counterpart to allow Indian investigators to visit their country to examine the fake currency and question the suspect.
The Malaysian government was initially cooperative,the sources said. They provided us with photos and copies of the Indian currency. When we said we needed to see the actual notes,they agreed to provide us with samples,on condition that we would return them, a senior official said. However,the Malaysians attitude seemed to have subsequently changed.
Officials said they wanted the size of the Indian investigation team reduced. Instead of the original team of officials drawn from the IB,home ministry and National Investigation Agency,they gave permission to only one NIA team headed by a DIG to visit Malaysia.
Later,more conditions were put,the sources said: the Malaysians said they would need the permission of the court to let the Indians visit,and would not allow the Indians access to Khan.
The authorities also argued that Khans nationality was disputed,and that they were trying to verify his antecedents,which would take some more time, an NIA official said.
Indian government sources said it was likely that the Malaysian government was being difficult at Islamabads behest. India is now trying to get more details on the suspect and on his alleged India links to strengthen the case. The officials said Pakistan had last year tried to block the extradition of Dawood Ibrahims alleged aide Muzakkir Sayyed alias Munna Jhinga from Thailand by producing fake documents that claimed he was Pakistani.
Jhinga,who is from Mumbai,was accused of carrying out an attack on underworld don Chhota Rajan in Bangkok. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The Pakistanis made their bid soon after the prison term was over,but were not successful,the officials said.