Fake Indian currency worth Rs 8 million seized

KATHMANDU: In a major clampdown on fake currency racketeering, Nepal Police have seized a large cache of fake Indian bank notes, which purportedly came from air cargo on November 6 via Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

The fake notes with the denominator 500 and 1,000 amounting to Indian currency Rs 80,00,000 was seized from one Sheikh Safi Ahmed today.

Ahmed, 51 and his son, Shahid Iqbal were arrested from Kupondole.

However, the one who delivered the notes to Ahmed is absconding, according to the police. The accused is a Muslim staying in Parsa District Ward No 2 since several years before moving on to Kathmandu.

Iqbal stayed in a rented room in Kathmandu, where the transactions took place.

Sources at the Nepal Police said, earlier too, more than 10 million counterfeit Indian currency notes entered Nepal via open border.

As the incident unfolds, Nepal Police is takenaback as to how the criminals crossed the well-equipped immigration point at the TIA with its tight security in place.

TIA security personnel said the counterfeit notes in two black leather suitcases apparently got the entry from the immigration point at the airport, evading customs officers. The police, acting on a tip off, started ransacking the suspect’s residence with the aid of informers, deployed in large numbers, when they caught culprits with the fake currency.

“We are just receiving the amount and pocketing a few commissions. We don’t know who delivers the cash from India or bring here,” the accused, who shortly landed in the Central Jail, told the police during an interrogation. He further said, “Every time new faces show up.” The accused have indicated that an underworld is solidly behind the circulation of fake currency in Nepal. “We get a call from these people; they give us time and venue and some kinds of signs to recognise them,” police quoted Iqbal as saying during the interrogation.

The accused claimed that the fake currencies are minted in Pakistan after which they entered Indian soil before being shipped to Nepal. Meanwhile, talking to The Himalayan Times, DIG Ramesh Shekhar Bajracharya, TIA police in charge, acknowledged that the Kathmandu Valley had indeed become an easy transit point for criminals and counterfeit currency.

“Counterfeit currencies can not flow directly from India to Pakistan due to the tight security along the Indo-Pak borders, so they have found Nepal an easy transit point,” he said. The fact that our open borders with India are unmanned makes the matter worse, giving criminals easy access to import crimes into Nepali soil, he said.

It must be recalled here that in November 6, Nepal Police had seized fake Indian currency to the tune of 2.74 million and another 1.3 million genuine Nepali bank notes from Balaju.

The accused - Kavita Burma Sakha, a Pakistani national (Her Pakistani name is Sayaba Zamindar) and her son Kabir Zamindar, were arrested from Machha Pokhari, Balaju. They were staying in a rented house.