A large amount of fake Indian and foreign currency notes including play currency notes imprinted ‘Children’s Bank of India’ of the face value of Rs 87 crore were invaded by the Military Intelligence and Pune City police in a joint operation on Wednesday. Six people including five civilians and a serving Army jawan were arrested in connection with the case.
On Wednesday afternoon, the stash was recovered in Viman Nagar in a bungalow in an operation that started with a decoy team being sent to the racketeers. A revelation was made in the primary investigation that the suspects were part of a racket of exchanging fake notes with the original ones during the currency exchange transactions. As per the beliefs of the investigators, the task of the suspect was to accept the genuine notes and give stacks of notes in exchange, comprising of some genuine, some good-quality fake currency and some play notes.
The Southern Command Liaison Unit (SCLU) of Military Intelligence (MI) and teams from the Crime Branch of Pune City Police conducted the joint operation.
Pune Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shisve directed DCP of Crime Branch, Bachchan Singh, to plan an operation, after concrete leads from MI regarding large consignment of fake currency. The racketeers were contacted by a decoy group, including both MI and police officers, in order to set up an exchange of notes.
A raid was led by the decoy deal that excavated huge stacks of fake currency of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 play notes marked as ‘Children’s Bank of India’, some fake notes of Rs 1,000 denomination, fame US dollars, genuine US dollars, and Indian rupees, of a total worth of nearly Rs 3 Lakh, along with a fake air gun, spy cameras, electronic devices, cell phones, and some forged documents.
As per the preliminary estimate, the face value of the fake currency was around Rs 87 crore in Indian rupees.
Initially, six persons were locked up by the police, who later on was put under arrest, and a search was launched for their possible contacts. The suspects have been recognized as Shaikh Alim Gulab Khan, an Army soldier of Lance Naik rank attached to an Army unit and Ritesh Ratnaakar, Sunil Sarda, Abdul Rehman, Tuhaul Ahmed Ishaq Khan and Abdul Gani Khan, his confederates.
As per the information gained by the police till now, the army jawan seems to be the primary suspect of the racker and has been posted in Pune for the past eight years. While the other five persons, four are from Mumbai and one is from Pune. The police are investigating if these people had more confederates and some leads on how the fake currency was acquired.
According to a police officer, these play notes imprinted ‘Children’s Bank of India’, previously have been surfaced in identical fake currency rackets. Thus, the connection between these people and other racketeers is undeniable. There is a certain finesse in forgery for a fraction of fake notes, pointing towards the International links. Police are investigating how these people used to snag preys, who gave them local support, technical know-how, distribution of network, and printing resources.
Most of these play notes had imprinted ‘Children’s Bank of India’ in place of ‘Reserve Bank of India’, and ‘Bharatiya Manoranjan Bank’ in place of ‘Bharatiya Reserve Bank’ in Devanagari text on it. Identical fake notes have been seized in the past in other parts of the country including Mumbai.
It was stated in an official statement released by the Army that a successful joint operation was carried out in Viman Nagar by the Southern Command Intelligence wing, along with Crime Branch Pune, and caught a fake currency racket. Six people were arrested including a soldier and five civilians with fake Indian and foreign currency. The investigation would need the involvement of various agencies, considering the number of fake notes seized, although a large slab of them are play notes.