Auto-rickshaw driver emerges key link in fake currency trade

Auto-rickshaw driver emerges key link in fake currency trade

Cops say racketeers eyeing locals, situation alarming.

Pune city police will soon file a charge-sheet against an auto-rickshaw driver arrested in January for his role in a fake Indian currency (FICN) racket busted in Yerawada area last year. Involvement of local hoodlums in FICN cases has led to worry among investigators who see it as an unhealthy trend.

Bachhile’s name cropped up during interrogation of three suspects from West Bengal arrested for possession of fake currency in September 2014. Yerawada police arrested Bachhile on January 14. His interrogation revealed he was lured by masterminds operating across the India-Bangladesh border.

The Yerawada police nabbed Salim Abubakar Shaikh (19) and his father Abubakar Kabatulla Shaikh (50), natives of Malda district in West Bengal, near Chitra chowk in Yerawada area in September. Cops recovered 170 FICN of Rs 1000 denomination and three of Rs 500 denomination of good quality from the suspects. Further, cops arrested their aide Marul Abdul Latif Shaikh (21), also from Malda, on October 10, 2014, and seized two FICNs of 500 denomination from his team.


Their interrogation revealed details of Santosh Bachhile, a resident of Alandi-Bhosari Road in Pimpri-Chinchwad, who circulated FICN in Pune market and developed strong connections with key racketeers in West Bengal.


Police said the arrest of persons from West Bengal and Bangladesh in FICN is not new, but luring locals into the illegal trade is a matter of concern.

The police filed a charge-sheet against the three suspects from Malda on December 12, 2014. And on January 14, nabbed Bachhile in connection with the case. He was interrogated. He is a native of Buldhana who shifted to Pune for work a few years back. He was earlier a cobbler in Bhosari area. He took a bank loan to purchase an auto-rickshaw. He used to work on the Chakan-Bhosari route.

Police said that in 2013, Salim and Marul Shaikh hired his auto-rickshaw. They developed a friendship with Bachhile and lured him into FICN racket promising good returns. Police said they gave FICN of Rs 50,000 to Bachhile and then Rs 1 lakh for circulating it in Pune. He circulated the fake money successfully.

Bachhile was given a commission of Rs 30,000, the cops revealed. Bachhile was introduced to FICN racketeers in West Bengal. Bachhile started visiting West Bengal to collect FICN consignments. A probe reveals Bachhile’s arrest along with other FICN racketeers by Samsherganj police and recovery of firearms from him. Police said he had gone to Kolkata and had plans to visit the native place of a racketeer, but was arrested.

“After bail in the Arms Act case, he got back to FICN. He was a key link between racketeers on the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal and operatives in Pune. We are probing his mobile phone call details to understand his links with top FICN racketeers. We will file a supplementary chargesheet soon,” “aid senior police inspector S A Patil of Yerawada police station. Investigators suspect those running fake currency racket are trying to network local people who have better knowledge of market places and may circulate fake money with more ease.