Sons of Retd Navy officer now kings of fake coin racket
Their father served the country as a Navy officer. And understandably so, the sons were expected to choose a decent career. But they thought to become famous (rather infamous) in a different manner.
This is a story of two spoilt sons — the Luthra brothers — who became undisputed “Kings of Counterfeit” coins racket. One of them has already fled to Nepal and the other — Sweekar — who was arrested on Tuesday, will cool his heels in Tihar.
When Delhi Police waited for a specific car on Uttam Nagar on Monday, they knew they were not after ordinary criminals but men who have caused tremendous damage to the Indian economy by counterfeiting coins. When finally Sweekar Luthra was nabbed, the special cell unit of Delhi Police breathed a sigh of relief. They also recovered Rs 17,390 counterfeit coins in Rs 5 and Rs 10 denominations respectively.
Who are ‘Luthra brothers’?
They are sons of a former Navy personnel (Retd RPO) who retired in 1975-76 and is settled in Punjab. However, during 1984, due to disturbed conditions in Punjab, the family shifted from there and settled in West Delhi. In order to earn quick money, the two brothers, Sweekar and Upkar, learnt the art of minting counterfeit coins.
From a snatcher to the counterfeit kingpin:
During the year 1993-94, he started committing incidents of snatching and was soon arrested. During 1997, his elder brother Upkar came in contact with one Gulshan Gambhir of Dehradun, who had given him the idea to enter into the illegal and lucrative trade of manufacturing counterfeiting coins of Rs 5 and become familiar with the details of the trade. His brother established a mint for minting counterfeit coins in Nangli Sakrawati area in Delhi and started making counterfeit coins of Rs 5 denomination. Sweekar was induced into the racket as well.
Upkar hid his brother’s name from cops:
In 1999, Upkar Luthra was arrested at Connaught Place with the counterfeited coins of Rs 5 denomination but he did not disclose Sweekar’s name. Soon after getting released from jail, Upkar again established another unit for making counterfeit coins in Anand Vihar but he couldn’t continue it for a long time and was again arrested. However, employing Ramesh Verma turned out to be Sweeker’s biggest mistake. Slowly but steadily, Ramesh began to develop his own network and eventually Sweekar hatched a conspiracy to kill him. “Realising that he was losing his supremacy in the trade, Sweekar hatched a conspiracy with some contract killers and sent Ramesh Verma to Bihar where he was killed,” said DCP Special Cell Sanjeev Yadav. Sweekar’s arrest is a major jolt to counterfeiting coins’ racket in India.
The press release of the Special Cell when they nabbed the kingpin in the counterfeit coins case Sweeker Luthra under the heading ‘Modus operandi’ goes on to unnecessarily elaborate on how to make counterfeit coins. The release clearly mentions what are the machines required for making counterfeit coins and what is required as raw material for the same.