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Monday, November 29, 2021

Explained: Nawab Malik’s allegations against Fadnavis, and the fake notes case he referred to

Malik has alleged that on October 8, 2017, the DRI seized Rs 14.56 crore of fake currency in BKC Mumbai. But the matter was brushed under the carpet by Fadnavis and was reported as a fake notes case of Rs 8 lakh only.

Written by Khushboo Narayan , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: November 11, 2021 9:44:15 am
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis (L) and NCP minister Nawab Malik. (File Photo)

Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik on Wednesday claimed that former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had protected a fake currency racket busted in October 2017 following demonetisation of currency notes in 2016 with help from NCB zonal director, Sameer Wankhede, who was then with Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

What has Nawab Malik alleged?

Malik has alleged that on October 8, 2017, the DRI seized Rs 14.56 crore of fake currency in BKC Mumbai. But the matter was brushed under the carpet by Fadnavis and was reported as a fake notes case of Rs 8 lakh only. He alleged that the key person arrested by the DRI was the brother of Haji Arafat Shaikh, who was later made the Minority Commission chairman by the Fadnavis government.

What is the fake notes case file by the DRI in 2017 that Nawab Malik has referred to?

October 7, 2017, the DRI seized Rs 10 lakh in fake Indian currency notes and arrested Haji Imran Alam Shaikh, then general secretary of North Central district Congress committee, his uncle Zahid Shaikh, a Khar-based real estate agent Mahesh Alimchandani and a Pune resident Shivajirao Khedekar in connection with circulation and distribution of fake notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 in the city. The DRI found that the fake notes were smuggled into the country from the Indo-Bangladesh border and were of high quality as about 20 of the 31 security features of the new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes were copied in the fake notes. Subsequently, the DRI also arrested a man named Rehan Khan, a key accused in the case from Kalyan in Maharashtra, and seized good quality fake notes of Rs 9.75 lakh and fake Rs 2,000 notes which mentioned Children’s Bank of India in place of Reserve Bank of India, with a face value of Rs 6 lakh.

Did the DRI report the case to RBI, NIA and CBI?

Sources in the DRI said it is mandatory to report every fake Indian currency seizure by the agency to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Central Bureau of Investigation. (CBI). The NIA and the CBI then decide if they want to pursue the case. The DRI, sources said, had informed the RBI, NIA and the CBI of the case booked by it in October 2017.

According to a top DRI official, the allegations of Nawab Malik are incorrect. While Wankhede, a joint director at DRI, was in-charge of the case against Haji Imran Alam Shaikh – the brother of Haji Arafat Shaikh- and others, the total fake currency recovered from Haji Imran Alam Shaikh was Rs 10 lakh.

What is the status of the DRI case?

The case booked by the DRI against Shaikh and others is pending in the court for prosecution, said a source. All the accused in the case are currently out on bail.

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