Fake Indian currency is in circulation in Jeddah. This came to light when the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Customs seized fake currency worth Rs 45,000 from a naval captain from Jeddah.
Mohammed Bunder, 31, arrived at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport by a Saudi Airlines flight from Jeddah around 10am on Wednesday. He crossed the green channel and stood in a queue to book a private taxi for Colaba. While he was making payment, the person at the counter told him that the currency notes he gave were fake. “An intelligence officer from AIU, who was standing there, heard it,” said a Customs official.
He then took Bunder to his seniors. The AIU team, headed by deputy commissioner of Customs Sameer Wankhede checked his handbag and found currency worth Rs45,000, all of Rs500 denomination.
Bunder showed the officials the receipt of an authorised forex dealer from Jeddah from whom he had obtained the Indian currency. The officials then took Bunder to a State Bank of India counter in the airport premises, where the staff confirmed that the currency was fake.
Bunder told the officials that he was not aware that the currency was fake. Customs officials said that a foreign national is not allowed to bring Indian currency from abroad.
The AIU arrested him in the evening. He will be produced in the court on Thursday.
However, Customs officials said that since Bunder is booked under Customs Act under which the offences are bailable, Bunder would get bail. “We have informed agencies such as the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and police who could take him in custody,” he said.
The Customs would inform the ministry of external affairs to pass on the information to the Saudi consulate.