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Nepal politician’s arrest re-confirms Pak-link to fake currency

The arrest of a Nepali politician and two Pakistani nationals with fake Indian currency in the heart of Kathmandu during a New Year crackdown has re-confirmed the Pakistani link to the international racket.
By Utpal Parashar | None, Kathmandu
UPDATED ON JAN 04, 2010 05:11 PM IST

The arrest of a Nepali politician and two Pakistani nationals with fake Indian currency in the heart of Kathmandu during a New Year crackdown has re-confirmed the Pakistani link to the international racket.

The arrest of Yusuf Ansari, chairman of Rastriya Janata Dal and son of former minister Salim Miyan Ansari by Nepal Police has been hailed as a major step in the drive against fake currency.

Although Ansari, his Nepali aide Kashi Ram Adhikari and Pakistani nationals Mohammad Iqbal and Sajjad Mohammad Khurram were arrested on Friday, the matter came to limelight when they were produced in court late on Sunday.

Nepal Police had been keeping a tab on Ansari following a request from India’s Central Bureau of Investigation after two Nepalis arrested in Madhya Pradesh with fake currency revealed the young politician was the main conduit for counterfeit notes in Nepal.

Ansari is alleged to have links with Pakistan’s ISI and said to be underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s main contact man in Nepal. He is also stated to be associated to the Mumbai underworld.

Based on an intelligence tip-off, Ansari and Adhikari were arrested from a hotel room with fake Indian currency worth Rs 25.4 lakh (Rs 2.5 million). They led the police to the two Pakistani nationals who were arrested from another hotel. Nearly 3.7 kg heroin were found in their possession.

“The notes that we have recovered were in the denomination of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 and kept in fake bottoms of two suitcases,” said Ganesh KC, SP, Metropolitan Police Range told journalists.

According to preliminary investigation, the fake currency notes are brought to Kathmandu from Karachi by air with help of conduits. They stay like tourists in hotels from where Ansari’s accomplices collect the contraband.

Interrogation of the Pakistani nationals has revealed that the heroin was to be smuggled to US via China. The police are also investigating Ansari’s possible link with the drug trade.

Ansari hails from Bara district on the Indo-Nepal border and is about a launch a private news channel. His father Salim Miyan Ansari was a minister in former king Gyanendra Shah’s cabinet in 2005.

All the four accused were produced at the Kathmandu district court on Sunday which remanded them to 10 days judicial custody for further investigation of their involvement in the fake currency racket.

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