NIA nabs 4 fake currency racketeers
Kolkata: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested four members of a fake currency racket from a hotel near Howrah station on Saturday night.
Acting on a tip off, a team of NIA officers, along with policemen from Golabari police station in Howrah, conducted a raid in the hotel and arrested Barkat Ansari, Fijjul Miya, Rabjul Miya and Utpal Chowdhury.
Counterfeit Rs 2,000 notes worth Rs 9.10 lakh were recovered from the accused.
Preliminary investigation revealed that Ansari was the head of the team. He is a resident of Satteri village at English Bazar in Malda.
According to sources, Ansari engaged the three others to circulate a part of the total amount of fake currency in the open market and he himself was assigned to hand over the rest of the amount to one of his counterparts in the city.
Investigating officers suspect that Ansari had got such a large amount of fake notes from a neighbouring country where it had been printed as well.
NIA officers had been monitoring the situation and received a tip off that Ansari has moved to Kolkata from Malda with a huge amount of fake currency notes.
The Howrah city police has also become stringent after it recently came to light that three active members of the Operation Group of Ansar Bangla Team (ABT), which is Al-Qaeda's Indian sub-continent network, had stayed in a hotel near Howrah station.
Close monitoring by police helped in easy identification of Ansari. Considering the arrest of Ansari is a major breakthrough that came after the arrest of Asim in 2016, NIA officers feel that it would be possible to get information about other members of the racket from Ansari.
It may be recalled that Asim, the kingpin of the international counterfeit currency racket, was arrested from outside Kolkata Airport on September 27 in 2016. He was a resident of Gokulnagar at Kaliachak in Malda and the NIA had announced an award of Rs 50,000 for giving information about him.