‘Pakistan hub of fake Indian currency network’


Kathmandu : Two Pakistani cities are the major manufacturers of fake Indian currency and Pakistanis are the main couriers spreading the counterfeit currency notes to India through Nepal, say Nepal police.

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On Saturday, Nepal police arrested yet another Pakistani, Mohammad Hamid, from a hotel in the capital, acting on a tip-off that he was a new courier.

Hamid, police said, was carrying nearly Rs.9 million in fake Indian currency that had been given to him by an associate, identified only as Javed, a resident of Pakistan’s Lahore city.

Police also nabbed the two Nepali accomplices of Hamid, who were to have received the money from him.

The currency notes were to have been taken to India through Raxaul in Bihar where two Indians running an electronics shop are also part of the network, Nepali daily Nagarik said Monday.

A report tabled by Nepal’s metropolitan police says Pakistan is the biggest manufacturing centre of the fake Indian currency that is seized in Nepal. Though Bangladesh and recently Sri Lanka have emerged as other routes for sending the fake currency to India from Pakistan, Nepal remains the biggest transit route.

Three busy cities on the Indo-Nepal border – Janakpur, Nepalgunj and Birgunj – are the main exits through which the money is taken to India, the report said.

Of the foreigners arrested in Nepal with fake Indian currency, Pakistanis are the largest in number. Last year, Nepal police arrested eight Pakistanis.

This year, four Pakistanis have been caught so far, including a woman.

The daily also said that most of the seized fake Indian currency was brought to Nepal via Pakistan International Airlines flights.

The most sensational arrest occurred in January when police arrested the son of a powerful former minister, Yunus Ansari, who is alleged to have links with terror kingpin Dawood Ibrahim, said to be based in Karachi.

The two Pakistanis who were arrested while handing over fake Indian notes and drugs to Ansari’s bodyguard said they had brought the consignment from Karachi.

The following month the murder of Jamim Shah, a controversial media baron in Kathmandu, is also alleged to be linked with the fake Indian currency racket as Shah is said to have been involved with Dawood and Ansari.

Nepal’s role as a growing transit route for fake currency notes, due to the 1,800 km open border it shares with India, is a major security concern for India.

Busting the network has been a major agenda during talks held with Nepal’s senior officials by visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Home Secretary G.S. Pillai and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.