Investigations following the raids on three factories minting fake coins have revealed that the accused were circulating the coins in vegetable markets, malls, toll booths and the outskirts of Delhi-NCR. Police also discovered that the counterfeit coins were meant to be supplied to shopkeepers across the city who need small coins in abundance.
A senior police officer said the accused made a profit of Rs 7 from every Rs 10 coin that they minted. He added that most people who got the coins could not tell they were fake.
Police said the accused posed as employees of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or occasionally of some other bank. “One of the accused, Naresh Kumar, posed as a Punjab National Bank employee. When his car was stopped and officers asked for his identity card, he refused to show it,” said the officer.
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Following the arrest of five people, including a woman, from the Bawana unit, officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the RBI met Delhi Police officers and got details about the arrested persons.
“Naresh told police that the Luthra brothers, believed to be the masterminds of the operation, had told him to hand over packets of coins to their clients. Naresh was carrying several packets of Rs 10 coins when he was arrested,” said the officer.
The fake coin racket also has an international connection. In November 2012, the Delhi Police Crime Branch had arrested three people near Sarai Kale Khan Inter-State Bus Terminal and seized 30,000 fake Rs 5 coins, with a face value of Rs 1.50 lakh, from them. “The accused revealed that they were part of an ‘international gang’ involved in minting counterfeit Rs 5 Indian coins in Nepal before supplying them to India,” said the then DCP (crime branch) S B S Tyagi.