Rita Sen,a 35-year-old domestic help and her 15-year-old daughter,Tumpa,were working for what turned out to be one of the eastern Indias biggest syndicates dealing in Fake Indian Curency Notes (FICN).
In its biggest-ever haul of fake Indian currency notes,the Kolkata zonal unit of the Directorate of Intelligence Revenue (DRI) cracked the syndicate and seized FICN worth Rs 58 lakh. A DRI spokesman said on Tuesday that it was the largest consignment of FICN to be seized in the eastern region.
The mother-daughter duo were residents of Kaliachawk in Malda. Though dealing in lakhs,the two came were daily-wage earners and those who ran the syndicate used to pay them a pittance for a successful operation.
We have seized a huge consignment of FICN and cracked a deeply entrenched smuggling module in the eastern sector. Moreover,six people including two key players of the syndicate were arrested, said V S Rao,ADG,DRI,Kolkata zonal unit. The syndicate had its roots spread across different states in the north-east and in Bangladesh and Nepal.
According to official records of the DRI,On September 30,the DRI officers intercepted a consignment of FICN worth Rs 20 lakh from New Farakka railway station while a carrier along with the escort was about to board Kolkata-Jogbani Express for Jogbani.
A senior DRI official said,We had information that there are more consignments of FICN to be pushed into the country through the same syndicate. With the team of the Special Task Force (STF) and district police,we raided several places in the area and the residences of the arrested persons. However,we could not unearth the consignments. But we kept mum on the issue and waited for almost a month before we seized the huge consignments of the FICN.
On October 29,the DRI special team intercepted a consignment of Rs 10 lakh from Bagdogra. The carrier was on his way to Panitanki for crossing over to Bhadrapur,Nepal. The consignment of FICN was concealed in the body of the carrier. Specially designed underwear and anklets were used to carry the bundles of the FICN,said a senior DRI official.
We received information that an amount of around 60 lakh of FICN reached Bangladesh from the neighbouring country in a Pakistani flight. And the consignment will be pushed into the country through the North Bengal border. But we did not have the idea that why the consignment was being pushed to Nepal as Nepal is used as a transit route to push FICN consignments into the country, added the official.
Significantly,in the evening of October 29,another DRI team intercepted a huge FICN consignment worth Rs 28 lakh from two women carriers while they were boarding a passenger train from Dhulian Ganga station for going to Patna. The DRI team arrested 15-year-old Tumpa Sen and her mother Rita Sen for carrying the FICN bundles in a specially designed bag. The two women are residents of Kaliachawk in Malda. They are very poor and they are daily-wage earners. But the FICN racketeers use them as carriers giving them Rs 10,000, said an official. We have received intelligence input that the investor and the trafficker are residents of Bangladesh, said the official.