Notorious fake currency smuggler Altab Hussein Ansari nabbed from Bara
KATHMANDU, AUGUST 13
- Allegedly the mastermind in Kamaladi’s 15 kg fake gold case
- In notoriety, he is second only to Yunus Ansari, who is in jail
Nepal Police recently launched an extensive hunt for the mastermind behind Kamaladi's 15 kg fake gold case as the headquarters was under tremendous pressure following public criticism, calling it out on its incompetence and alleged involvement in the case.
In the meantime, Bara Police received a tip-off on the whereabouts of a notorious fake Indian currency smuggler after having established his connection with the Kamaladi gold scam.
Acting on the very information, police on Thursday arrested 38-year-old Altab Hussein Ansari from Nijgadh in Bara district.
Police had intensified search for Ansari after connecting dots of his involvement with the Kamaladi case. Police, on learning that Altab's vehicle (Ba 6 Cha 5511) was used in the smuggling, had zeroed-in on his complicity. What followed was that the smugglers arrested in the fake gold case ratted on him, pushing the case very strongly against him.
Senior Superintendent of Police Deepak Thapa of Metropolitan Police Crime Division, Kathmandu, said Altaf was being transported to Kathmandu after his arrest.
Of fake golds, 'coyotes' and police connection
On June 28, gold smugglers managed to escape with the help of police personnel. However, police were able to retrieve 15 kg fake gold and half kilo genuine gold after the 'coyotes' threw the contraband from the vehicle’s window and fled the scene.
A probe committee formed by the police had found that two police constables of the Metropolitan Police Circle, Durbar Marg -- Bahadur Singh Kadayat and Prasanna Shrestha -- had helped the smugglers escape.
Fast forward to a few days later - Nilesh Sakhiya, an Indian national from Nawalparasi was apprehended by the police. Sakhiya and his accomplice, Sanjay Patel, had crossed over to Nepal, needless to say illegally, on foot via a border point in Birgunj looking to smuggle the precious yellow metal.
They then contacted their acquaintance in Nepal -- mastermind Altab -- soliciting his help in smuggling the gold.
Following the June 28 scam, police have so far arrested eight persons of the racket, while Patel is still at large.
Who is Altab Ansari?
Altab, who hails from Harpur, Prastokha-2 in Bara, is an alleged 'engineer' of several smuggling cases. He was, as police suggest, the Nepal-based kingpin for smuggling fake Indian currency to India via Pakistan.
It has come to be revealed that Altab used to work for the criminal syndicate run by Dawood Ibrahim, India's most wanted mobster. Police sources claimed that Altab is a notorious smuggler, second only to Yunus Ansari, who was last nabbed with fake Indian currency notes worth INR 76.8 million from Tribhuvan International Airport in May 2019. Ansari has been languishing in jail since then.
Altab colluded with Yunus Ansari to run the smuggling racket earlier, but was on his own after the latter's multiple arrests. “International racket of fake Indian currency had come to trust Altab more due to under-performance of Ansari and his associates,” a source said. Altab Hussein was also operating a criminal racket under the guise of a ‘social worker’, who donated to temples, mosques and schools in Bara and other places in the Tarai region, to win the confidence of locals.
Altab was last arrested on 15 June 2015 as a fugitive. In 2009, Lalitpur District Court had sentenced him to three years in jail along with a fine of NPR 26.1096 million for his involvement in smuggling fake Indian currency with a face value of INR 5.4395 million which was seized from a rented room in Satdobato, Lalitpur.
However, after serving his term and the consequent release, he was back to the world of crime, running his racket, in 2018.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 14, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.