A racket in fake Indian currency notes, busted in Dhaka recently, has raised suspicion among Indian investigators that those arrested could have been behind the supply of fake Rs 2,000 notes last year, shortly after the new notes had been introduced.
Details shared by the National Investigation Agency in a report to the Union home ministry, accessed by The Indian Express, point to strong connections between the arrested Bangladeshi nationals and a Pakistani national identified as Danish, who reportedly supplied the fake Indian currency notes (FICN) to the kingpin of the group caught in Bangladesh, Shamsul Haque.
Haque, officials said, has been engaged in the FICN racket for eight years along with Danish and his wife. “From an examination of the seizures, it is clear that they have not been able to counterfeit the features of the currency introduced after demonetisation,” said an official, adding that they are probing possible Pakistan links and have sought more details from their counterparts in Dhaka.
The seizures, as per the list, include a fake currency cutting machine made of iron and wood, six pages of totally printed fake Rs 2,000 notes and 24 pages of partially printed FICN, besides colour printers.
Sources said their investigations indicate that a suspect arrested last year in Mumbai, Mohd Sobuj Motur, too was part of the same racket. Motur had been caught by the Mumbai police’s narcotics cell and the case was later transferred to NIA.
Based on seizures made on the Indo-Bangla border, The Indian Express had reported the influx of Rs 2,000 notes from across the border last December, a month after such notes had been introduced.
The new arrests, according to the NIA report, were made late last month. The Dhaka Metropolitan Police nabbed a group suspected of printing and circulating fake Indian notes. The initial seizures were reported to be Rs 15,34,000 in the denomination of Rs 2,000 (new), Rs 1,000 (old) and Rs 500 (old).
Besides Haque, 46, the others arrested were Mohd Bul Bul Ahmmad, 42; Mohd Kairul Islam, 38; Md Shaheen Akhtar, 30; and Alamgir Hossan, 28, all Bangladeshi nationals. The racket was being run from a rented building in Mohammadpur area of Dhaka, with currency notes sold to Indian citizens through one Noor Mohd and Jamal of Shivjganj, bordering area of Chanpainbabganj in Bangladesh, the report states.
Since demonestisation, fake notes with a face value of Rs 6.2 crore have been seized by the BSF, the NIA and the police in the 17 border states, as per a statement made by the home ministry in Rajya Sabha. In a written reply, MoS Home Kiren Rijiju informed Parliament during the last session that the BSF seized 378 fake Rs 2,000 notes with a face value of Rs 7.5 lakh from West Bengal and Assam along the Bangladesh border. The highest seizure was from the Assam border, 230 notes. Separately, the NIA seized fake Rs 2,000 notes with a face value of Rs 4.5 crore: 22,479 notes from Gujarat and 198 from West Bengal.
Among seizures by border state police, the highest recovery was Rs 1.2 crore in Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes from Gujarat, followed by Rs 23 lakh from West Bengal and Rs 44 lakh from Punjab.