Maoists have long been known to have been using the migrant labourer cover.

The City Police are planning to run an awareness campaign after it was revealed during an inquiry that many migrant labourers are dealing in counterfeit currency.

A suspected Maoist activist was arrested recently while attempting to transact fake currency of denomination Rs. 500 at a shop at Kaloor. During investigation it was learnt that the group to which he belonged had travelled extensively across the country under the guise of labourers coming from outside and spent fake currency notes in Kolkatta, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Aluva and Ernakulam.

“It is hard to detect these groups, as they do not stay for long in a place. And they remain under the cover of migrant labourers. They keep moving immediately after dispersing the fake notes to avoid detection,” said Manoj Abraham, City Police Commissioner.

Azadul, the suspected Maoist, was arrested while he tried to spend another fake currency of the same denomination at the same shop, raising the suspicion of the shop owner.

“We are now planning to run awareness campaign for shopkeepers and residents to be on alert and to be on the look-out for migrant labourers trying to spend money of higher denominations,” Mr. Abraham said.

A senior police official said that trained Maoists have formed groups to disperse fake currency in different parts of the city as part of their efforts to raise funds for their activities. The recent arrest gave leads to the police about rackets that bring fake notes printed in Bangladesh over to India.

Maoists have long been known to have been using the migrant labourer cover. A top-level Maoist leader Malla Raja Reddy was arrested from Angamaly in 2007, where he was hiding along with a woman accomplice.

The investigators are also concerned about the lack of support from their counterparts in other States. Azadul told the investigators that he had undergone firearms training as part of a group comprising more than 300 members at Bilal Nagar in Barampur district of West Bengal.

Such a big group cannot conduct arms training without the local police getting to know about it.

But the police in West Bengal could not provide any further information, said the police official.

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