In a bit of an embarrassment to the Congress party in Maharashtra, one of its local leaders has been arrested for running a fake currency note racket.
As per reports, the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) has arrested the General secretary of North Central Mumbai District Congress Committee named Haji Imran Sheikh and two other persons, and has seized about Rs 9 lakhs from them. The other two accused include the uncle of Imran Sheikh named Zahid Sheikh and a builder named Mahesh Alimchandani.
The DRI is also planning on taking to custody a fourth person named Shivaji Khedekar who has been arrested by Ahmednagar Police in connection with another fake case.
Turns out that, Imran Sheikh was arrested with fake Rs 500 notes of about Rs 9 lakh when he was on route deliver it to someone in BandraKurla complex. According to the officials the only difference in the fake notes is that the ink is a little lighter and it didn’t have the two dimensional colour.
What might be more disturbing is that, out of the 27 security features in the original notes, these fake notes were able to replicate about 15.
As per the DRI, these notes were printed in Bangladesh and were supplied via the north-eastern states. The report claimed that, Imran Sheikh and his uncle got these notes for Rs 4.5 lakh that is 50% of the true value. They later confessed during the interrogation that they used to receive the notes from the builder Alimchandani who in-turn used to get them Shivaji Khedekar, the now arrested Pune businessman.
As per Aimchandani who was arrested from Khar in Mumbai, he used to receive about 5% as commission and had in the past circulated about Rs 10 lakh in these fake Rs 500 notes. Even Imran Sheikh and his uncle seem to have successfully circulated such fake notes while buying goats.
Such a revelation is certainly worrying as one of the main reasons given by the RBI for demonetisation was that, “it was necessitated to tackle counterfeiting Indian banknotes and curb funding of terrorism with fake notes”. But if as per these reports some unscrupulous elements have indeed started to circulate fake notes, one hopes that authorities successfully and surely clamp down on it.