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Fake currency racket busted in Bangalore

Bangalore police arrested a five-member gang for circulating counterfeit notes in Karnataka and Maharashtra.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 21:25 IST

The city police on Monday busted a fake currency racket in Bangalore by arresting a five-member gang for circulating counterfeit notes in Karnataka and Maharashtra, a top police official said.

During the raid conducted near the city railway station and a lodge where the accused were staying, the police recovered fake notes worth Rs.1.14 million in the denomination of Rs.500 and Rs.100, apart from Rs.75,000 in genuine cash.

"The five-member gang has been taken into police custody for indulging in counterfeit currency under sections 26-29 of the IPC. Their modus operandi was to sell the fake notes to unsuspecting businessmen and agents dealing in changing money for half the rate of the denominated notes.

"For instance, the accused used to exchange Rs.200,000 fake notes for Rs.100,000 of genuine notes or tender them at select places where detection will be difficult because of the huge volume of transactions," DCP (crime) B.R. Ravikanthe Gowda said.

Incidentally, the gang consisting of Gopala Patil (50) from Belgaum, Channabasaviah (27) from Dharwad, Ambarish (21) from Raichur and Ranganth (43) and Basavaraj Naik (50) from Bagalkot hail from north Karnataka and have been operating the racket over the last three-four years, with a printing press and a computer graphics studio in Mangalore.

"The kingpin (Naik) was, in fact, arrested in a similar case at Bijapur a few years ago and was on bail. The gang was operating mostly in the towns and villages of Marathwada in neighbouring state (Maharashtra) and Karnataka," the officer added.

"Using high-tech scanners and computer graphics, the gang used to get the fake notes designed and printed in Mangalore. Agents like Ambarish were engaged to identify potential customers, willing to risk for buying the notes at half the rate and double their investment by using them in business," Gowda said.

The accused were produced in a local court for a 15-day judicial custody to investigate the case further.

"Besides taking up the matter with the local Reserve Bank of India (RBI) office, we have decided to alert the general public to beware of the fake notes that could be still in circulation in the market," Gowda added.

First Published: Aug 28, 2006 21:25 IST