The Bank Fraud Wing of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) team investigating a credit card fraud case unearthed over Rs. 1.74 lakh of Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) of 500 denomination from two suspects. The duo had been circulating the high-quality FICN in the city over three months.

CCB sources said the suspects Mohammed Feroz (27) of Muthialpet and Manikandan (28) of Nerkundram were nabbed on Friday morning when they tried to purchase some electronic goods using a fake credit card from a store on Anna Salai. The shopkeeper alerted the bank officials, who in turn, called the police.

“The suspects were in possession of 10 fake credit cards. Further questioning revealed that the two were involved in circulation of FICN as well,” said A. John Rose, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Bank Fraud Wing.

The police team first searched the house of Manikandan in Reddy Street, Nerkundram and found 13 fake cards, an encoder machine used to make the cards, a laptop and 149 counterfeit notes of 500 denomination. A search at the house of Feroz in Pavalakaran Street, Muthialpet led to the recovery of another 200 notes, the officer added.

Manikandan is suspected to be an associate of notorious bank fraudsters Umeesh alias Shorty and Manoj Kumar who are both in Puzhal prison in connection with various cases. He befriended Feroz a few years ago when the latter was running a mobile phones store in Vadapalani. The two hatched a plan to distribute FICNs in the city. Feroz received the notes from Tariq of Uttar Pradesh. The notes are of such high quality that it is difficult to establish them as fakes even under a UV lamp.

The duo circulated the notes in the city and simultaneously indulged in credit card frauds by obtaining stolen data,” Mr. John said.

Manikandan and Feroz were remanded to judicial custody on Saturday evening and lodged in the Puzhal central prison. CCB is further probing the source of the card data and whether the duo had any accomplices.

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