Kathmandu, September 2

Police have arrested a man for allegedly operating a fake currency racket in the capital.

A special team of the Metropolitan Police Circle, Maharajgunj arrested Deepak Neupane, 20, of Bageshwori-7, Nuwakot, and currently residing at Nepaltar, Tarkeshwor-20, red-handed from Gongabu on Tuesday while the latter was circulating Nepali banknotes.

DSP Bishwo Mani Pokharel, MPC in-charge, said Neupane, a bachelor first-year student at Gramin Adarsha College, Nepaltar, was found to have been producing, distributing and circulating counterfeit banknotes with the help of some of his associates.

“We had launched an all-out investigation based on information that fake Nepali currency rackets are active in the capital for the past few months. Massive search operation and identification of the suspects finally led to Neupane’s arrest,” he informed. Police have confiscated fake Nepali banknotes worth Rs 135,000 and a hi-tech photocopy machine from his apartment. The notes are in the denomination of Rs 1,000.

Neupane was found to be printing and circulating fake banknotes in large volume using hi-tech machines and quality paper. Earlier on February 6, police had arrested Shrinivas Rao, 45, of Jharkhanda, India, for possessing and circulating fake Nepali currency notes in Kathmandu. Fake banknotes worth Rs 50,000 were confiscated from him.

On December 4 last year, Aashish Chaudhary, 17, of Narayanpur-9, Dang, was held with counterfeit Nepali banknotes worth Rs 7,500 from New Bus Park when he was buying clothes. Later, investigations revealed that he had also used fake banknotes to buy gold worth Rs 133,000 from a jewelry shop in Tulsipur, Dang.

These incidents indicate that fake Nepali banknotes are being produced and circulated in large numbers. According to Nepal Police statistics, counterfeit Nepali currency notes worth millions have been seized from Kathmandu, Bara, Kanchanpur, Kailali, Nawalparasi, Dhanusa, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Gulmi and Tanahun, among other districts, since 2012.

An investigation carried out by the Central Investigation Bureau had found that fake currency racketeers were making Birgunj their base. According to officials, unsuspecting persons cannot identify fake currency notes as they are almost identical to the original ones. Racketeers use such notes to buy goods in shops by tucking them between genuine ones. Generally, fake Nepali currency lack raised watermark, words and metallic thread — the permanent features of a genuine banknote.

Fake currency dealers operate at night, especially during load-shedding hours, according to police.