The fake currency was found after a couple allegedly paid the immigration fee at Nedumbassery airport using the counterfeit notes.

An Indonesian couple who arrived at Nedumbassery international airport was detained here this week after fake Indian currency notes were found in their possession. The fake currency was found after the couple allegedly paid the immigration fee at Nedumbassery airport using the counterfeit notes.

On investigation, the police found the couple got the fake notes from a currency exchange in their country. Unknowingly, they carried the Indian counterfeit notes from their country into the airport. The incident brings to light the risk of fake notes being supplied to tourists coming to India from currency exchanges abroad.

Last year, fake notes worth about Rs. 40,000 were seized from an Omani couple. The duo had arrived in the city for medical treatment and paid for their hotel with fake currency they obtained from a currency exchange back in their country. An Iranian national was arrested in the city more than a year ago on similar charges. He allegedly received the fake notes from an exchange in Kuwait.

“In the case of the Indonesian nationals, we were able to establish that they did not use the counterfeit notes with the knowledge that they were fake. The couple run a seafood export company and were in the city to purchase a freezer machine. They were simply handed the fake notes at the currency exchange in their country. We have classified the case as one of ‘innocent possession’ following our investigation,” said a police officer.

This is not the first time that the police have had to deal with tourists being supplied with fake currency. They find it difficult to handle such cases as the culprit is located outside the country. While the carrier of the fake notes is inconvenienced, the person responsible for printing the fake notes and disseminating them often goes scot free. As in the case of the Omani couple, who had already spent about Rs.7,000 before the police could detect the crime, the fake notes are circulated quickly by the unwary tourist.

“The case of the Indonesian couple may be handed over to the Crime Branch and they would be able to examine the source of the notes and how they reached the currency exchange,” said a police officer. For now, the Nedumbassery police have contacted the Indonesian police and ensured that a first information report is registered at the location from where the couple got the fake notes.

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