KOCHI: Kochi city police and the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in a joint operation busted a Coimbatore-based counterfeit currency racket and arrested five persons on Thursday. The team also recovered fake currencies having a face value of `1.8 crore and equipment used to print fake notes in a search operation that started on Wednesday night and continued on Thursday at various places in Coimbatore.
According to ATS officials, the seizures and subsequent arrests were made as part of the investigation into the counterfeit currency seizure case registered at Udayamperoor police station last month. The police had then arrested four persons and seized fake notes with a face value of `1.74 lakh.
“The ATS got engaged in the probe since counterfeit notes are linked to terrorism activities. The interrogation of those arrested last month revealed that a Coimbatore-based racked was behind the supply of fake notes. We were tracking these persons for the past several weeks, before launching the operation on Wednesday night,” said an ATS official.
The arrested have been identified as Rasheed of Thrissur, Ashraf Ali alias Settu, Mohammed Rishad, Sayed Sultan and Asharudeen alias Ashiq—all Coimbatore natives. As many as 90 bundles of counterfeit notes of `2,000 denomination was found from the residence of Sayed Sultan. Later during the interrogation, he revealed the names of other accused. Apart from notes, printers and scanners used for the production of fake currencies were seized from a house in Coimbatore.
On March 27, the Udayamperoor police had arrested Priyankumar K K of Irumbanam with fake currencies worth `1.74 lakh. Later, three more persons, including a woman from Karunagappally, were also arrested.
“We were tracking the suppliers of counterfeit notes as part of the Udayamperoor case. Of the five nabbed on Thursday, one person was held from Thrissur and others from Coimbatore. These persons charged `1,000 for a fake currency of 2,000 denomination,” said CH Nagaraju, Kochi City Police Commissioner said. The NIA will check the quality of the seized notes to ensure that they were not sourced from abroad.