In the chargesheet of the Kondotty fake Indian currency note (FICN) case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has revealed that original Indian currency notes were being smuggled abroard through hawala channels in exchange for FICNs with the assistance of Thahir Merchant alias Thahir Thaklia, who was involved in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blast.
The NIA has filed the first chargesheet against seven accused in the case. According to the NIA, Kamaluddin of Ponanni was the main recipient of the FICNs from Muhammad Rafi alias Firoz Babu of Thrissur.
“Kamaluddin used to collect genuine money and send it to anti-national and terrorist elements in Pakistan through hawala channels,” the chargesheet stated.
Kamaluddin had collected Rs 15.85 lakh and smuggled it to Gulf countries through Rafi. After the arrest of Rafi and subsequent interrogation, it was disclosed that some chacha of Mumbai was the source of FICNs.
Investigation revealed that the chacha was Muhammad Dada alias Thahir Merchant, 58. The NIA then arrested Muhammad Dada who revealed that he got FICNs from 45-year-old Pakistani national Imtiaz Ibrahim of Karachi.
Similarly, the role of Rafi was revealed in another case in which a person named Tajudeen was arrested with FICNs with the face value of Rs 19.95 lakh. The DRI had received a letter in the package written by Rafi to Kamaluddin to raise genuine notes and hand it over to Dada who would pass it on to Ibrahim. It was also revealed that Rafi and Dada had been arrested by Sharjah police with FICNs with the face value of `50 lakh.
Mannuparambil Abdul Majeed, involved in the case, was arrested at Nedumbassery airport on December 7, 2012. He revealed that fake notes were being supplied by another Pakistan national Iqbal Bhai and his son Taimoor. The NIA retrieved Taimoor’s contact number from Majeed’s cellphone. There are 12 accused in the case.
The NIA filed chargesheet against Muhammad Alshab, 28, Kodungaloor; Abdul Malik, 38, Thrissur; Abdul Kareem, 43, Perumbavoor; and officials of Customs and Central Excise who facilitated the FICN racket Muhammad Rafi, 40, Chavakkad; Abdul Majeed, 53, Ponnani; Muhammad Dada, 58, Mumbai, Kamaludeen alias Shobharaj Kamal, 48, Guruvayoor, who is absconding in the case. Second accused Sajin alias Chinan, 29, of Kottakal and Mossakutty, 39, were made approvers in the case. Other accused are Noushad, 32, Mathikalam, Thrissur; R K Usman, 48, Ponnani; and Imtiaz Ibrahim and Iqbal Bhai from Pakistan.
The Pakistani duo is yet to be arrested in the case.
The NIA framed charges under 120 (B) of IPC, 489 (B) and 489 (C) IPC r/w 341 IPC and Sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had seized FICNs for `72.5 lakh from a passenger, Muhammad Alshad, from Ras al-Khaimah at the Karipur airport on August 16, 2008.
There were notes of the denominations of Rs1000 and Rs 500. In the following days, Abdul Malik and Abdul Kareem were arrested. As the case involved terror-related issues, the Kondotty police handed over the case to the NIA last January.
The probe linked Thahir Thaklia to Dawood Ibrahim and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).