NIA busts major counterfeit currency racket with Pak links

NIA busts major counterfeit currency racket with Pak links

National Investigation Agency today claimed to have busted a gang which circulated Pakistan-made fake Indian currency notes (FICN) worth crores of rupees, with the arrest of 11 persons.

Sleuths of NIA Hyderabad branch, along with BSF and West Bengal Police, arrested 23-year-old Morgen Hossain from Malda district of West Bengal today and seized FICN with a face value of Rs 27,000 from him.

The leads provided by Hossain, the alleged kingpin, led to raids in Chennai, Malda and Hyderabad and the arrest of ten gang-members. The gang acted at the behest of terrorist organisations who wanted to destabilise the country through the circulation of fake currency, said NIA's Additional Superintendent of Police, I R S Murthy, in a release here.

According to NIA, the arrested persons had a nation-wide network. Huge quantities of high-quality FICN, in denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 500 and Rs 100, printed in Pakistan, were smuggled to Bangladesh by air route and then from Bangladesh, they were thrown into Indian villages along the border.

Hossain and his gang collected the counterfeit currency from the border area and distributed it to agents across the country by railway.

Young unemployed youth from Malda were sent as construction labourers to major cities and towns to distribute the fake notes.

The local agents, who exchanged the fake notes for genuine ones, took a 40 per cent cut. Rest of the money was remitted to Hossain's bank accounts, who in turn passed on some percentage to Bangladeshi and Pakistani suppliers, Murthy said.

The fake notes were exchanged in the ratio of 1:3 of the face value.

A maximum of Rs 49,000 were deposited in Hossain's accounts at a time, to avoid PAN and Income Tax-related paperwork and to circumvent scrutiny.

FICN worth crores of ruppes of face value was circulated by this 11-member gang in the last few months across India, Murthy said.

The NIA was trying to unearth the entire network and apprehend the remaining members of the network, Murthy added.

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