The role of a senior official from Pakistan embassy in Kathmandu in the smuggling of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) has come to light after it was revealed that he was in regular contact with the aides of India's most wanted fugitive - Dawood Ibrahim.
After the arrest of the alleged kingpin, Yunus Ansari, it was disclosed that he used to operate from a small hotel in the Chakrapath area of Kathmandu, which is close to the Pakistan embassy. Ansari and his brother Naseem were also reportedly in regular contact with the official.
Three other Pakistani nationals, identified as Muhammad Akhtar, Nadia Anwar and Nasiruddin, were arrested along with Ansari from Tribhuvan International Airport on May 24. They were carrying fake Rs 2,000 notes worth Rs 7.67 crore.
The accused, who were travelling from Karachi, had Qatar stamps on their passport to conceal the original place where the FICN was loaded from.
In the past few months, arrests have been made in Delhi, Gujarat, Gurugram and West Bengal regarding the seizure of fake currencies. It has also been revealed that fake notes with the denomination of 2000 are being printed Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan at a high-security printing press in Karachi.
A major bulk of FICN is also being smuggled into Bangladesh through sea route. These are then smuggled into India through Nepal and Bangladesh borders.
Investigations also revealed the influx of counterfeitnotes from the Eastern border along Bangladesh. A man from West Bengal was arrested from East Delhi's Anand Vihar railway station with fake currency worth Rs 10 lakh, in January this year. It was disclosed during interrogation that the notes were printed in Bangladesh and he was supposed to distribute them in busy markets of the national capital.
In another case, a chargesheet was filed against three accused in Gujarat by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in May for circulating fake currencies obtained from Bangladesh.
Ansari has also been previously arrested by Nepal police from Kathmandu, for carrying FICN amounting to Rs 35 lakh. Before that, he was arrested in 2009 with counterfeit notes worth Rs 25 lakh.
Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) deployed at the Nepal borders have been alerted after the recent arrest and seizure. The Customs (preventive) Wing in UP-Bihar has also been instructed to step up vigil along the border, particularly the commercial vehicles entering India.