Mumbai, Feb 10
A passenger who had arrived from Dubai was arrested with “high quality” fake currency notes of face value of Rs 23.86 lakh, routed from Pakistan, at a bus stop near terminal II, at Mumbai International airport on Sunday.
The accused, identified as Javed Gulamnabi Shaikh(36), was carrying 1,193 high quality notes of Rs 2000 denomination, which were neatly stacked in his travel bag to avoid suspicion. He was arrested on the charges of possessing counterfeit currency and criminal conspiracy under IPC and was being produced in the court on Monday.
During interrogation, Shaikh, a resident of Kalwa (in Thane district on the outskirts of Mumbai), told police that he had gone to Dubai to meet his brothers a few days ago. He further informed that the notes were routed from Pakistan and he had received them in Dubai.
Acting on the tip off, a trap was laid by a team comprising officers Ajay Joshi, Ravindra Mane under the guidance of Joint Commissioner of Police of Mumbai Crime Branch, Santosh Rastogi and DCP Akbar Pathan, right from the Sunday morning. The accused after immigration and customs clearance, came out and was hurriedly moving towards a taxi. The officer immediately swooped down and nabbed him.
Speaking about the seizure, the Joint Commissioner of Police of Mumbai Crime Branch, Santosh Rastogi, said, that looking at the quality of notes, terror link was not ruled out. The notes are of a very good quality and for an untrained eye it is very difficult to distinguish them from real ones. Only two features in the seized note are missing: one, in the original, the green strip changes colour to blue when the note is tilted, but in these notes the strip remains green. Also, in the original note, the face value can be seen only when the note is held against the light; this feature is also found missing. We are trying to ascertain from where the currency originated, who was the recipient and the purpose behind the delivery,” he added.
The police officers said that there has been a spurt in the incidents of fake currency being dumped into India by operators across the border. Such cases have international ramifications as the involvement of an international syndicate based in Bangladesh is suspected.
It may be recalled that this year on 13 January, the fake currency worth Rs 18.75 lakh, which was smuggled from Bangladesh to India, was seized from Nagpur by officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and one Lalu Khan (38) was arrested.
That seizure was part of a joint operation in three states — Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal, on the basis of specific intelligence. In that seizure 386 fake currency notes of Rs 2,000 denomination and 1,191 notes of Rs 500 denomination were seized.
In the meanwhile the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967( UAPA) has already been amended and damage to the monetary stability of India by way of production or smuggling or circulation of high-quality fake Indian paper currency, coin or any other material has been declared as “terrorist” act.