Updated: November 22, 2016 12:17:42 am
Ever since three operations producing fake Rs 5 and Rs 10 coins were busted, about 100 police officers from three separate agencies, including the Delhi Police special cell, have been working round-the-clock to hunt down the Luthra brothers — Swikaar alias Sonu and Upkaar alias Raj.
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The brothers were familiar names to the Haryana Police even earlier, but few in the capital had heard of them. Now, they have gained notoriety as the masterminds behind all three operations. The anti-auto theft squad has received non-bailable warrants against the duo, while the special cell has requested Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma to announce a reward for information leading to their arrest.
According to police, the brothers would find someone who wanted to make a quick buck, pay off any debts he had, and then provide financial support to open the manufacturing unit. While that person would be appointed in a managerial role at the unit and draw a handsome salary, the brothers would pocket the bulk of the profit.
To ensure that employees don’t become suspicious, the brothers would pose as Reserve Bank of India officials and claim they had bagged a contract to manufacture coins.
Police said the brothers took care of everything — from procuring machinery and dyes to circulating fake coins in the market. The operations had been going on for at least seven years. Every time police would get wind of their operations, they would shift base. “They started making fake coins in Karnal seven years ago, but realised police were on their tail and shifted base to Delhi,” a police officer said.
Those arrested in the raids gave three different addresses for rented accommodations in Delhi and Karnal for the brothers, but each raid proved futile — the brothers would be long gone by the time the police hit the place. Police also discovered that the brothers had three-four cases registered against them even prior to the busts.
* Raj Kumar, 44, used to drive an auto-rickshaw till six years ago. After he lost around Rs 50 lakh in cricket betting, the Luthra brothers, who knew him, offered to repay his loan. He accepted their offer and started working in their Bawana unit as a manager.
* Naresh Kumar, 42, ran a car accessory business at Charkhi Dadri in Haryana. In 2012, he met the Luthra brothers, who went to his shop posing as RBI officials. The brothers would give him fake coins, which he would distribute in exchange for bigger notes in the market. After a few meetings, the brothers told him who they really were, and he decided to work for them.
* Rajesh Kumar, 40, used to drive an auto-rickshaw till five years ago. He was hired as an accountant in one of the factories. He told police that the Luthra brothers told him they had bagged an RBI contract, but he later realised they were lying. He said they paid him Rs 25,000 per month.
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