In one of the largest seizures of counterfeit notes from the city since demonetization in 2016, a team of three officials from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and a team of Gurugram Police jointly seized Rs 1.20 crore in counterfeit currency notes of denomination Rs 2,000 from the possession of two Nuh residents on Wednesday.
The accused, suspected to be part of a larger gang with four to five members, were apprehended from near a fuel station in Sector 48, where the police had laid a trap on the basis of a tip-off by their informer, who also happens to be the brother-in-law of one of the arrested men.
The accused were identified as Wasim, 20, and Kasim, 44, both residents of Punhana village in Nuh. The police said they were produced before the court on Thursday and taken on seven-day police remand for interrogation to get details about their operations and network.
The accused were taken to the NIA headquarters for further investigation.
“The teams have seized 6,000 notes of Rs 2,000 denomination. Most of the security features of currency notes, such as the watermark and the security thread, looked similar to real currency. They were using very high quality paper to photocopy the notes to ensure they were not easily detectable,” police commissioner Muhammad Akil said.
He added that they are questioning the accused to find out the place from where their gang procured the paper.
The police found the same serial number on multiple notes, indicating that they were counterfeit. During interrogation, the men revealed that the notes were scanned and later printed on sheets of paper through a photocopier before being cut and arranged in bundles. The accused confessed that they had scanned 20 different notes, out of which the serial number of three was found in the bundles.
Police said that Kasim, whom they suspect to be the mastermind of this operation, had bought an Epson L380 XL printer from Nehru Place in New Delhi about nine months ago.
“Of the 6,000 notes seized from them 3,000 had the same serial numbers. The remaining half had two different serial numbers,” assistant commissioner of police (crime) Shamsher Singh said.
Talking about their operations, Akil said that the gang operated out of a room in the back of their house, which had been cleared of all equipment by the time they raided it on Wednesday leading the police to believe that the duo’s movement was being closely observed by another gang member, who may have tipped off the others.
Police said that Kasim was the suspected kingpin of the gang involved in printing and circulation of fake currency notes. He was also responsible for fixing meetings and organizing video conferences with potential buyers before the delivery to gain their confidence that these notes are Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN). However, the police said the arrested suspects had changed their statements multiple times since their arrest.
The arrests were made after an NIA team posed as buyers and struck a deal, through their informer, to buy the forged notes for Rs40 lakh.
“To gain our team’s trust, Kasim had shared pictures of real currency notes on WhatsApp and had put real currency notes on top of the bundles to ensure the buyers can’t gauge the quality of the forged notes,” he said, explaining that high-quality counterfeit notes are printed with special ink on high quality paper, not photocopied.
The police said Kasim used to take orders for supply of fake currency notes from his sources and used to print as per the order.
The police said they are interrogating him and trying to ascertain the truth behind his claims that he is the kingpin and that he was only operating for the last nine months.
These fake notes have been in circulation in Haryana, Delhi, UP and Rajasthan for this duration, the police said.
Kasim also told police that he has sold the fake currency to more than 100 people who could not understand the difference between genuine and fake currency notes, but this was the first time that he got trapped and was arrested.
“Wasim has been a cricketer who represented his school several times and was taking coaching from a coach to enter IPL tournaments. He has passed class 12 from Nuh . His father is a principal at village Singar government school, who is unaware of his criminal activities,” Akil said.
A case under sections 489B (using as genuine, forged or counterfeit currency-notes or bank-notes) and 34 (common intention) was registered at Sadar police station.
May 31, 2019 01:28 IST
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