With the arrest of four persons from Thiruvananthapuram, the Kollam police on Tuesday claimed to have busted a major fake note racket in the State capital.
Among the arrested is a assistant sub-inspector of police attached to the Thiruvananthapuram Armed Reserve Police Camp and a retired Class-III officer of the Indian Space Research Organisation. The police seized fake notes worth Rs.2.85 lakh from an apartment of the former ISRO official.
City Police Commissioner Debesh Kumar Behera gave the identity of the arrested ASI as Anil Kumar and the retired ISRO official as Madhava Kurup. Sunil Thomas and Tavasi Muthu are the other two arrested.
While Anil Kumar, Kurup and Sunil Thomas were arrested from Thiruvananthapuram city, Muthu was arrested from Neyyattinkara.
Anil Kumar, who showed signs of stress after the arrest, had been put under medical observation and could not be brought to Kollam.
The gang had circulated fake notes in huge quantity in the State capital. Given the quality of the notes, all in Rs.500 denomination, the police suspect a Pakistan link to the racket, said Mr. Behera. If needed, the case would be handed over to the National Investigation Agency, he said.
The arrested have links with two Tamil Nadu natives, Thangaraj and Mani, picked up by the police on May 30 after a fake note seizure of Rs.6.51 lakh.
Kollam East Sub-Inspector G. Gopakumar, leader of the team that arrested the four from Thiruvananthapuram, said the police had enough grounds to suspect the involvement of a wider gang behind the racket.
He said an examination of Kenganan’s mobile phone details exposed Anil Kumar’s involvement in the racket.
Based on Anil Kumar’s interrogation, the police raided Kurup’s apartment at Mudavanmughal in Thiruvananthapuram. Sunil was with Kurup when the police swooped in at the apartment early in the morning.
The arrests were supervised by Assistant Commissioners of Police B. Krishna Kumar and T.F. Xavier. The team comprised senior civil police officers Jose Prakash, Anan Babu, Prasanna Kumar, Sajith, Sunil and Harilal.