Fake bills of ₹1.80 crore seized, five arrested

In a joint operation straddling Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the Kochi City police and the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested five persons and seized fake notes of the value of ₹1.80 crore.

The operation lasted through the late-night hours of Wednesday into the early hours of Thursday. It was connected to a case registered by the Udayamperoor police following the seizure of ₹1.74 lakh on March 27. Immediately thereafter, the police had made four arrests, thus taking the total number of people arrested in the case to nine.

Among the arrested were Ashraf Ali aka Settu, 29, Mohammed Rishad, 30, Syed Sultan, 32, and Azharuddeen aka Ashique, 28, all from Coimbatore.

“We have been conducting a follow-up probe into the case to find out the source and suppliers. Of the five persons arrested, one was nabbed from Thrissur, which in turn led us to the other four in Coimbatore,” said C.H. Nagaraju, District Police Chief (Kochi City).

The fake currencies in the denomination of ₹2,000 were found in 90 bundles of 100 notes each. Printer, scanner, and other equipment allegedly used in the production of fake currencies were also seized from their den in Coimbatore.

The participation of ATS in the operation is considered instructive of the potential national security angle attached to the case. ATS sources, however, said prima facie the case did not seem to have any terrorism linkage as yet but seems to be purely driven by economic interests. Other ramifications, if any, will have to be unearthed during the probe, they added.

The Udayamperoor police had earlier arrested Priyankumar K.K., 36, of Irumbanam and Dhanya, 38, of Karunagappally. They had confessed to having received the fake currencies from Coimbatore.

The accused were found to have circulated around 90 currencies of ₹2,000 denomination at various places. “We had tracked and seized each one of those bills. The arrangement between wholesalers and retailers was that one original ₹2,000 bill will fetch the latter two fake bills of the same denomination,” said Mr. Nagaraju.

The possibility of more agencies being involved in the case has not been ruled out.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 9:21:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fake-bills-of-180-crore-seized-five-arrested/article34385570.ece

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