Staff Reporter

Arrested youths may have been hired by gangs, suspect police

CHENNAI: The seizure of fake currencies to the tune of Rs.1.65 lakh, all in the denomination of Rs.500, from three youths and the mobile phones recovered from them has raised questions among police officers investigating the case.

On Sunday, the Ice House police arrested the youths who claimed they boarded a train from Malta district in West Bengal and arrived here last week in search of a job. A traffic police constable had spotted them moving from one shop to another and alerted the near by mobile patrol team, which informed the station officers.

The police found them exchanging the ‘notes’ in a few shops in the area. Preliminary enquiries revealed that the youths had taken possession of the ‘currency’ from a passenger on a train from Kolkata to Chennai. The police suspect they might have been hired by some gangs to circulate the counterfeit notes.

Telephone data

According to an investigating officer, the youths belonged to Bangladesh and the list of “received calls” and “dialled calls” on their mobile phones included a few overseas numbers.

The counterfeit notes resembled original currency and it would be difficult for the common man to make out the difference, a forensic expert said. 0To avoid any suspicion, the youths had chosen small grocery shops where the traders would not have instruments to check the validity of the currency.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Mylapore) A.G. Mourya said the mobile numbers noted down from the accused would be checked during the course of investigation.

Probe into antecedents

An officer attached to the Central intelligence unit said since the youths hailed from Bangladesh, their antecedents should be thoroughly probed by a specialised wing like the ‘Q’ Branch.

The fake currency might have been routed through ISI agents or other militant outfits into the country, he pointed out.