BENGALURU: In a major haul, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Mumbai, along with Belagavi district police recently busted a fake currency racket and arrested two people. Police were able to seize 41 fake notes of Rs 2,000 denomination. They, however, believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg.
The NIA and Belagavi police teams have arrested Chikkodi resident Ashok Kumbar (45) and West Bengal native Dalim Mia (21). Sources in NIA said that Mia was on their radar for a long time. “He was involved in circulating fake currency. We got information that he was in Nippani in Belagavi district and Kumbar provided him accommodation,” an NIA official said. “Acting on a tip-off, we managed to nab Mia in Pune. During the course of investigations we learnt that Mia, along with locals (who got a cut as commission) had managed to circulate fake currency notes among labourers and farmers in Karnataka and Maharashtra.”
Belagavi police said that Kumbar had managed to circulate fake notes of Rs 2,000 denomination totalling Rs 3.5 lakh. Born in Chikkodi, he was living with his family there. He was in huge debt and was trying to make some quick bucks by fake currency, police said.
Sources in NIA said the money seems to be smuggled from neighbouring countries but neither Mia nor Kumbar know about it. Sources said and added that the currency looks so genuine that it is hard to identify it as fake.
An NIA source said following demonetisation, the circulation of fake currency notes by organised gangs was halted for a few months. But now, they are back in business. Their modus operandi involves circulating fake currency notes in different parts of the country in a phased manner. NIA will take Kumbar into their custody for further interrogation. Mia is already in their custody. Belagavi Superintendent of Police Sudheer Kumar Reddy said they have also taken one Rajendra Bapu Patil into custody.