If Abdul Karim Tunda’s purported disclosure to the Delhi Police Special Cell is to be believed, the alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba ideologue has lost count of the number of times he used his network to pump fake Indian currency notes (FICN) from Pakistan into India over the past many years.
A senior police officer said on Tuesday that according to Tunda, he was running the racket while in Lahore with his accomplice Iqbal Kana, who would receive the consignments of fake currency from a brigadier posted with the Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and hand them over to Tunda.
“He told us that these notes were printed in Peshawar or Islamabad and it was from the Pakistani Capital that bags filled with bundles of FICN with their face value running into crores came to Lahore, from where they were to be disbursed further,” the officer said.
“For his part, Tunda has only admitted to being a ‘courier’ of sorts, whose job was to help the passage of money through the borders that India shares with Nepal and Bangladesh as he had widespread networks in both these countries, particularly the latter where barring occasional pressure from the government he had a smooth sail. Tunda told us that he did not charge commission on a percentage of profit, but demanded a fixed sum, the amount of which differed on a case-to-case basis. Almost every time he got the price he quoted.”
One of the more recent instances of FICN smuggling, where Tunda purportedly admitted to having played a role, was a consignment with a face value of over Rs.2 crore that was seized in South-West Delhi’s Dabri in January 2012, when the fake currency was packed between bundles of clothes being carried in cardboard boxes.
Interrogations also revealed that Kana was extorting money from the Indo-Pak Traders’ Association, a private association of businessmen from both countries, using ISI’s name. He was detained by the agency when it came to know about these activities. Following this, Tunda’s premises were raided by the ISI and FICN with a face value of Rs.9.5 crore was purportedly seized. The matter was resolved when Kana apologised to the ISI.
Asked whether Tunda and Kana had links with another FICN smuggling networks allegedly run by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, whom the former purportedly met several times during his stay in Pakistan, the officer said Tunda himself had not made any such revelation, but they were probing this angle too.
Tunda was purportedly detained in 2005 by the ISI for several months, after which he was let off. Investigations so far have pointed out that his differences with Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed were behind this detention.