Police uncover four cases over four days; counterfeit, believed to be from Pak, is of superior quality
Counterfeit currency rackets circulating Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) of superior quality are suspected to have infiltrated the city.
The police are on high alert and the Central Crime Branch has initiated a probe into four cases involving FICN reported here over the past four days.
The first case of FICN surfaced on Friday after the police received specific information on a gang dealing in counterfeit currency operating from Kodungaiyur.
A police team carried out vehicle checks on Erukanchery High Road on Friday evening and attempted to intercept a car with four young men inside.
“Initially, the car slowed down but picked up speed as it reached the barricade and raced past us. Our team gave chase and caught up with them. The men tried to run but we nabbed one person — Abdul Munaf of Washermenpet,” said an investigating officer.
Munaf led the police to a first-floor house on Sivasankaran Street, Kodungaiyur. Just as the police was about to make an entrance, a man jumped out of the window with a suitcase and fled.
He was later identified as Mohammed Rafeeq of Vyasarpadi and is believed to be the kingpin of the gang. “Rafeeq had rented the house a few months ago identifying himself as an IT professional. Bundles of fake currency were seized from the house,” the officer said.
The FICN totalled Rs. 5.03 lakh in denominations of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000. They were of superior quality and could be detected only under UV rays, the police said.
On Sunday, investigators seized 60 counterfeit notes of Rs. 500 denomination in Selaiyur from two construction workers — Shahul Hameed and Hassan Usman (in pic) of Murshidabad, West Bengal. The notes matched the ones seized from Rafeeq’s house.
Monday noon, a youth from Murshidabad was nabbed when he attempted to deposit FICN worth Rs. 25,000 — comprising 26 notes of Rs. 500 denomination and 12 notes of Rs. 1,000 — at a nationalised bank in Sholinganallur.
Around the same time, another youth from West Bengal was arrested at a bank branch in Poonamallee when he tried to deposit FICN worth Rs. 27,500. The suspects involved in the last three cases are believed to be part of the same gang.
The cases have been transferred to a special team of the Central Crime Branch that will carry out a detailed probe in the following days.
The team has also launched a search for Rafeeq who is badly injured and believed to be hiding somewhere in north Chennai.
He had operated from different parts of the city after renting houses in various areas. The police suspect he used his contacts to circulate the counterfeit currency in the city.