BHUBANESWAR/SONEPUR: In a significant breakthrough, the Special Task Force (STF) of Crime Branch arrested a person from Sonepur and seized fake Indian currency notes (FICNs) with a face value of over Rs 41.16 lakh from his possession.Acting on a tip-off, the agency conducted raid at Matikhai Nua Basti under Ullunda police limits in the district on September 1 and nabbed Deepak Meher. The accused’s family runs a handloom business in the village.
The FICNs recovered from Meher met many security features of a legal currency note. The agency’s officers have, in the past, seized FICNs from various parts of the state but the current recovery left them perplexed as the counterfeit currencies appear to be of a high quality.
The STF will send the seized notes of Rs 500 denomination to Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private limited at Salboni in West Bengal for examination.
“Initial investigation suggests the FICNs were procured from Chhattisgarh. A racket involved in procurement and supply of counterfeit notes is active in western Odisha and neighbouring Chhattisgarh,” said Jai Narayan Pankaj, IG EOW. There are more members who are part of the racket and efforts are on to nab them, he added.
STF registered a case in this connection under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Pankaj said provisions under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act will be slapped and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) too would be apprised if forensic reports confirm the seized counterfeit notes are of high quality.
Sources said the accused had planned to hand over the FICNs to some anti-socials. Usually, counterfeit notes with a total face value of Rs 1 lakh are exchanged for Rs 40,000 legal notes. STF said Meher’s elder brother is also involved in the illegal business of procuring and supplying FICNs.
“Meher’s elder brother has links with the people engaged in printing counterfeit notes in Chhattisgarh. He is absconding and a search has been launched to nab him,” said an STF officer.So far, STF has seized FICNs with face value of more than Rs 1.19 crore from various parts of the state.