| Sashastra Seema Bal personnel with a woman (centre) who was arrested with fake currency notes in Raxaul. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Patna, July 22: Circulation of fake currency notes has replaced narcotics deal become the new profitable business for the underworld dons of Bihar.
The fact tumbled out during the interrogation of Bhadri Singh and Shashibhushan Singh, who were arrested by the Bhojpur police from Bihiya police station area on Thursday. The cops also seized fake currency notes with a face value of Rs 25,000 in denomination of Rs 500.
The two disclosed that they worked for Pintu Singh, a hardened criminal who is lodged in the Ara district jail. Pintu, who is facing charges of murder, extortion and loot, had employed them for circulating counterfeit notes in Bhojpur and its adjoining areas.
Earlier, Pintu used to deal in narcotics in Bhojpur and Buxar, regions infamous for the supply of marijuana (ganja) to different parts of the country.
“Pintu had employed 65-year-old Bhadri for circulating fake notes to avoid police action,” an investigating officer told The Telegraph.
Bhojpur superintendent of police (SP) M.R. Naik said Shashibhushan had inducted Bhadri into the “lucrative” business. “Shashibhushan had developed close relations with Pintu when the former was lodged in the jail,” he said, adding that Pintu was running the racket from behind the bars.
What is intriguing is that the consignment was delivered to the two agents at the jail gate. During interrogation, Bhadri told the police that he had to visit the jail every time to get the consignment. “Pintu had employed old men as his agents because the police will not suspect them,” Naik told The Telegraph.
The SP said all out efforts were being made to find out the supply chain. “It is shocking that the mastermind of the fake currency note is operating from the jail through his cell phone,” he said, adding that though the police searched the ward in which Pintu is lodged, nothing objectionable was found.
Bhadri and Shashibhushan revealed that they were involved in the illegal trade for the past four years. They, however, failed to recall the amount of the fake currency they had dumped in the market during that period. “The police recovered fake currency worth Rs 21,500 from the house of Bhadri,” Naik said.
Prior to this, the police had seized fake currency worth Rs 30,000 from Bihiya and arrested three persons in this connection. “The officials of the intelligence bureau also interrogated Bhadri and Shashisbhushan,” said deputy superintendent of police G.M. Kumar.
Intelligence sources said several ganglords, who were lodged in different jails of the state, were involved in the circulation of counterfeit notes, mostly in the districts bordering Nepal.
“We have come to know that ISI operatives in India are hobnobbing with the kingpin of several criminal gangs operating in the state for dumping counterfeit notes in India,” an officer associated with fake currency cell at the state police headquarters said.
To drive home his point, the officer cited the quantum of the seizure of fake currency notes from different parts of the state in the past three-four years. He said the ringleaders opted for the fake circulation deal as less risk was involved in it.
“The business is done through agents and carriers. Mostly the agents and carriers are arrested and put behind the bars. There are little chances of the kingpin being caught by the security personnel,” the officer pointed out.
Sources in the state police headquarters said till April this year, counterfeit notes with a face value of Rs 2.6 lakh were seized from different parts of the state. In 2010, fake currency with a face value of Rs 8.78 lakh were seized against Rs 7.93 lakh in 2009.