The Organised Crime Intelligence Unit (OCIU) of the Special Branch CID police on Tuesday raided a hotel here and seized Rs.5.4 lakh of Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) from a five-member gang, including one belonging to West Bengal.

According to police sources, a special team of the OCIU led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Mohammed Aslam raided the hotel in Periamet following a tip-off on Tuesday evening. Five persons in one of the rooms were found to be possession of the FICN.

The accused, whose names were given as Saravanan (25), Shahjahan (42) of Thanjavur, Mohammed Farooq (26) of Mannadi, Ramanan (33) of Kancheepuram and Masood Sheikh (20) of West Bengal, had checked into the room around 5.30 a.m. on Tuesday. The wads of notes of Rs.500 denomination, totalling Rs.5.4 lakh, were found to be fake.

“They also had Rs.98,000 original currency which was probably obtained by exchanging the fake notes in local shops. Sheikh is from the Kaliachak area in Malda district (West Bengal) which is a notorious hub of counterfeit currency. Prima facie it appears that the FICN was smuggled from Bangladesh,” a senior police official said.

The FICN seized in the case would be referred to the Reserve Bank of India for confirmation. “The notes look so original… it is difficult for a common man to distinguish with the naked eye,” the official said.

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