ELURU: Posing a challenge to those organising cockfights, dice and card games in clear violation of court orders, some punters are using these arenas to circulate counterfeit currency notes in twin Godavari districts.
Though police claim that they have not received any such complaints, the cockfight organisers secretly admit that at least two per cent of the money collected from the punters is fake.
It is reliably learnt that some gangs have already distributed fake currency notes in the delta and agency areas of West Godavari district as well as Rajahmundry and its surroundings.
During last month, police seized fake currency worth Rs 15,000 in Koyyalagudem and Gollapudi and it is now believed it was meant to be circulated during betting in festive season.
Besides, they have exchanged the notes during cockfights. As the punters are busy in betting, the operators mix the fake currency in the original notes.
M Srinivas of Eluru, an organiser of cockfights, has reportedly received fake currency notes worth `38,000 during cockfights last year. “I have conducted cockfights last year and got good income in the fight. After checking the currency in the UV machine, notes to the tune of `38,000 were counterfeit. This year we wanted to arrange a UV machine at the cockfight arena itself, but could not implement it due to heavy crowds,” he added.
In the delta area of West Godavari district, the cockfight organisers arranged currency counting machines in the rings of cockfight. They also arranged fake currency checking machines at the arenas. In I Bhimavaram, Sisali, Vempa and other areas, the currency checking machines was used to curb fake currency circulation. As the other rings have no such machines, the operators made money there.
According to police sources, the mafia established links with organisers of cards and dice games where the original notes collected from the punters are replaced with fake ones. The Rajahmundry Urban police also arrested some members of counterfeit currency mafia before Bhogi. The culprits confessed to have come to exchange fake notes in cockfights.
Speaking to TNIE, Jangareddigudem DSP J Venkat Rao did not rule out the possibility of exchange of fake currency notes during cockfights.