Fake currency kingpins in police net

Birgunj, December 20:

The police today made public three kingpins involved in the smuggling of fake currency.

Fifty-eight-year-old Asalam Ansari of Karachi, Pakistan, 25-year-old Mohammad Jahagir of India’s Sitamadhi and 27-year-old Nasim Ansari of Bara’s Kalaiya municipality-12 were presented before the media today.

Parsa district police office had arrested the three in Kathmandu’s Chhetrapati on Thursday with 120 bills of INR 1,000.

According to SP Subodh Ghimire, the two foreigners were caught at Hilton Hotel in Chhetrapati, Kathmandu. Another Nepali national was arrested from a travels and tours company in Kathmandu.

According to police inspector KP Sharma, smuggling mastermind’s arrest was facilitated after Sajid Ansari of Birgunj’s Ramtol was nabbed with fake INR 7.83 lakhs on November 11.

Earlier, the police had arrested 26 persons with INR 19.56 lakhs in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations. The fake notes often land in Kathmandu and are taken to Indian markets by carriers, a police officer involved in the investigation said.

Inspector Sharma said, “Earlier, we were able to nab only the carriers, but the arrest of a real culprit has brought the kingpins to the surface.”

Police officials, however, say political meddling has made it impossible for them to take action against the counterfeit currency smugglers. Investigation had been tough due to lack of evidence.

Police reportedly learnt from Ansari that the smuggling network had spread from Pakistan to Kathmandu’s Nakhu jail. The police office said 84 persons, including Pakistani and Bangladehsi nationals, were in the wanted list. Major political leaders and affluent people are also suspected of having a hand in the crime.

A source alleged that the government had removed some names obtained from Ansari’s investigation, falling to the pressure of smugglers.