Six held with fake Nepali banknotes worth Rs 26m

Kathmandu, May 16

Police have arrested six persons with counterfeit Nepali currency notes with face value of Rs 26.06 million from different places of Kathmandu and Lalitpur.

The alleged racketeers of the fake currency notes nabbed by police are Mahendra Bogati, 24, of Surkhet; Sujit Tamang, 24, and Sajan Tamang,19, of Sindhuli; Madhavraj Wagle, 35, of Kathmandu; Prakash Subedi, 36, of Dhading; and Bikesh Napit, 39, of Bhaktapur. They were involved in printing and circulating fake currency notes in Kathmandu valley. All the banknotes are in denomination of Rs 1,000.

Senior Superintendent of Police Bishwa Raj Pokharel, in-charge at Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, said it was the biggest-ever single seizure of fake Nepali banknotes in the country. The organised racket of fake Nepali currencies unfolded after the owner of Mitranagar-based Sumadhur Cafe suspected that a note tendered by Bogati to pay bill was not genuine and alerted Metropolitan Police Sector, Gongabu, about it yesterday. Acting on information, police arrested him immediately and confiscated Rs 147,000 from his possession.

Based on the statement given by Bogati, police arrested Tamang brothers with Rs 743,000 from Lubhu of Lalitpur. Subsequently, officials raided the house of Wagle and confiscated the fake currency notes worth Rs 25.2 million. Wagle is a film producer and had financed some movies before and his latest film ‘Changa Chet’ is under production.

SSP Pokharel said Subedi, the proprietor of Bagbazar-based Shri Nawa Jyoti Printing Press, had tasked Napit with printing the fake currency notes. Napit runs Jay Bhole Baba Printing Press in Kamalpokhari. Police have also seized four plates used for printing the fake currency notes.

“The racketeers used to circulate the fake banknotes through drug traders and various persons in their contact to pay hotel and restaurant bills, sex workers, and for gambling. They circulated such notes by also tucking them between genuine ones,” SSP Pokharel said.

“You need a meticulous observation to know that the notes are not genuine and thus many people might have been defrauded by the gang. Genuine note is felt rough when you run your fingers through it, but fake notes lack this feature. Generally, fake Nepali currency lack raised watermark, words and metallic thread — the permanent features of a genuine banknote,” he said, appealing to all to be cautious.

Kathmandu District Court has remanded those arrested to five-day judicial custody for further investigation into the case.

In February, Nepal Rastra Bank had warned that the circulation of high denomination counterfeit notes could adversely affect the country’s economic security.