West Godavari district is turning into a haven for gangs involved in circulating counterfeit currency, suspected to have been printed in Pakistan and routed through Nepal and Bangladesh. In the last two months, police busted five gangs and arrested 25 persons, several of them hailing from Bihar and West Bengal. They seized fake currency with a face value of Rs 43 lakh in Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations, Superintendent of Police B. Balakrishna said.

A special team was constituted with Kovvuru Circle Inspector V. Gopalakrishna and Narsapur Sub Inspector Jaganmohan Rao exclusively to face the challenge posed by the fake currency gangs who are reported to have the backing of their handlers in Pakistan.

Major breakthrough

In a breakthrough in mid-June, the special police team chanced upon an 18-member gang in Narsapur and busted it. A large number of fake notes, all in Rs. 1,000 denomination and with a face value of Rs 24 lakh, were seized from the gang. As the circulation of such a large amount of counterfeit notes could have far-reaching consequences on the economy, the Reserve Bank of India deputed an Assistant General Manager to Eluru to create awareness on the security features of genuine currency notes among bankers.

Advance technology

Close on the heels of the incident in June, the special team busted another racket and arrested seven persons, including three persons from West Bengal and two from Bihar, near the railway station at Kovvuru on Saturday. Displaying the fake currency in Rs 500 denomination, all printed in Pakistan, Mr. Balakrishna said the technology used by the racketeers was so advance that the missing security features in the counterfeit currency were not visible to the naked eye. The fake notes were so identical to the legal currency that even a team of senior officials from a reputed bank, invited by the SP for verification a few days ago, reportedly failed to make out the difference even after using an ultra violent lamp.