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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

High-quality counterfeit currency seized

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Rajpura (Patiala), May 06, 2013
First Published: 20:51 IST(6/5/2013) | Last Updated: 20:52 IST(6/5/2013)

Punjab Police have seized Rs. 5.4lakh in counterfeit currency and arrested West Bengal man in connection with the seizure, a police official said on Monday.

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The high-quality counterfeits - which even carried watermarks, thread and security signs that are used to differentiate between real and fake currency notes - were seized following an intelligence input.

Talking to mediapersons on Monday, senior superintendent of police (SSP) HS Mann said the police suspected that the fake currency notes were meant for funding terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Police have arrested Wes Abdul Mehmood, a resident of West Bengal, who was taking the counterfeit currency from Bangladesh to Kashmir via Kolkata, New Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. However, Mehmood's accomplice, Akram Hussain, managed to flee.

Police suspect the role of Pakistan's ISI in the smuggling of the counterfeits. “It's almost like real currency. All the water marks, thread and even security signs are printed,” the SSP said.

The seizure includes 410 currency notes of R1,000 and 300 notes of R500. The SSP said the notes seemed to have been printed using an ultramodern machine. “It cannot be bought by a small-time smuggler.”

The SSP said the police had alerted security and intelligence agencies about the development. During the preliminary investigation, the accused had reportedly said that he had purchased this currency at R30,000 for a bundle of Rs. 1 lakh in counterfeit currency. He allegedly used to charge R40,000 for delivering the currency.

The SSP said a case had been registered at Shambu police station.

Striking similarity
The counterfeit currency seized by police on Monday has a striking resemblance with real currency. The police said the watermark, RBI threat and security stamp on the notes seemed like that of an almost real note, indicating a hi-tech racket behind the counterfeit currency.

PAKISTAN CONNECT
Police suspect that the notes had been printed in Pakistan and smuggled to India via the porous India-Bangladesh border.  Police have alerted intelligence agencies and suspect Pakistan intelligence agency ISI's involvement in the racket.

For Kashmiri militants
The counterfeit currency seized on Monday was reportedly meant to be smuggled to Kashmir. Police suspect that the currency would have been used to fund militant activities in the strife-torn state.

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