Five men with a consignment of fake currency were arrested at Rajgunge, in the Sankrail police station area, during a dawn swoop by Howrah police on Monday.
Acting on a tip-off, Howrah police raided Fancy Screen Printing, a factory in the Rajgunge market area, and rounded up Abulais Ansari, 67, and four of his associates, two of whom are foreign nationals. All five have been remanded in police custody.
The police have confiscated Chinese-made machinery, used for printing fake Indian and foreign currency. Rolls of paper, metal strips for manufacturing coins and other materials were also seized from the factory.
“We have recovered fake currency worth lakhs of rupees from the five arrested. Apart from the Indian rupee, the racket deals in the currencies of Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan. They also manufacture five-rupee coins,” said an officer of Sankrail police station.
Superintendent of police, Howrah, Zulfiquar Hasan, said: “We have seized cellphones and voice recorders from the five. Preliminary investigations suggest they are involved in a wider network linking international counterfeit currency rackets.”
“Machinery seized from the unit is mostly of Chinese make and has the precision to mint money. We should be able to establish whether the gang has any world links once we are through with interrogation,” said an officer. Police refused to disclose the names of Ansari’s associates for the sake of investigation.