The Crime Branch arrested a key suspect in a fake currency racket that channelled counterfeit notes into the country from Gulf countries. Haneefa, 44, of Thrissur, was held from the Coimbatore international airport on Tuesday and produced before the Aluva Judicial First Class Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

Crime Branch officials said Haneefa was responsible for sourcing the Rs.9.75 lakh in fake currency that was held from Nedumbassery international airport in January 2013 from Abid, 33, of Malappuram. “Abid was only a carrier of the fake notes. Haneefa sent the Rs.500 fake notes with him from the Gulf,” said a Crime Branch official.

Officials said they had learnt about Haneefa’s operations from Abid and had investigated further.

Haneefa worked in different countries in the Gulf and allegedly established links with counterfeiters in these places. “He travelled back and forth between Kerala and the Gulf frequently. He was in Kerala earlier this month too,” said an official. Crime Branch officials suspect that the counterfeit notes seized from Nedumbassery were printed in Pakistan.

“We will conduct further investigation to find out who else is involved in the racket and whether Haneefa had sent more fake currency into the country before,” said SP Alex K. John.

More In: Kochi | Kerala | National