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Karachi link to fake Indian currency

world Updated: May 07, 2011 16:29 IST

The Pakistani city of Karachi continues to grow as the base of faceless groups seeking to fund terror attacks and destabilise economies by exploiting weak links in Asia, like Nepal. A Pakistani, who flew in from Karachi, has been arrested and fake Indian currency confiscated from him.

On Friday, Nepal police arrested a Pakistani, Syed Sardar Hussain, from a hotel in Kathmandu, confiscating over Rs.3 million that the 51-year-old was carrying in fake Indian 500- and 1,000-rupee notes.

Police said Hussain had flown in from Karachi Thursday and had instructions to hand over the forged notes to accomplices for sending them to India across the border.

Last year alone, Nepal police arrested at least 10 people in different operations, catching all red-handed with fake Indian notes.

Three of them were Pakistanis while the fake money recovered was invariably manufactured in Pakistan.

Mohammad Farook, a disabled Pakistani, aroused the suspicion of security personnel at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu last August when he insisted on wheeling himself through customs in the wheelchair he had brought from Pakistan instead of using the one offered to him at the airport.

Hidden in the wheelchair was Rs.2.5 million in fake Indian currency. Farook had arrived on a direct Pakistan International Airlines flight from Karachi.

In March 2010, in an unprecedented incident, police arrested a solitary Pakistani woman travelling on her own from Karachi. Miriam Wali Mohammed was carrying Rs.3 million in counterfeit Indian currency notes.

Nepal police say that the gangs are switching over to new couriers to smuggle the money into Nepal as well as varying routes. Bangkok and Dhaka are the new favoured transits.

In September, police arrested seven people, two of them Indians from Bihar's Motihari district, who were to have taken the money to India across the land route.

The gang was busted with the arrest of Nepali Tek Bahadur Karki, who had brought Rs.4 million in fake Indian notes from Karachi, flying through Bangkok to avert suspicion.

The most sensational arrest last year was perhaps that of Mohammad Jamil, who was caught in the airport in May 2010 with fake Indian currency worth nearly Rs.2 million.

Jamil had used a tortuous route, coming through Dhaka to evade suspicion. Ironically, that made him suspect as police officials thought it would have been natural for him to catch a direct flight to Nepal.

Two months ago, Jamil escaped dramatically from Nepal and has not been found yet. He had feigned illness, was taken to a heart hospital and on the pretext of using the hospital toilet, fled with suspected police connivance.

The arrest of yet another Pakistani Thursday is the third incident of Nepal police nabbing Indian money counterfeiters in less than a month this year.

On Wednesday, police ferreted out nearly Rs.800,000 in fake Indian notes from a three-star hotel in Kathmandu and arrested a Nepali mule.

In April, police had from the same hotel arrested a Thai citizen Anubhat Sahib, with fake Indian currency worth Rs.4 million.