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Fake currency racket busted; six held

By Our Staff Reporter

NIZAMABAD, JAN. 13. The Nizamabad district police on Tuesday arrested six members of an inter-district gang on charges of involvement in circulation of counterfeit currency notes in various districts and recovered counterfeit currency notes worth Rs. 48,000, a computer and a scanner.

The Superintendent of Police, N. Madhusudan Reddy, produced the six before newsmen at the district police office here on Tuesday.

The modus operandi of the gang members nabbed today and a similar gang busted in 1999 is the same.

The accused used state-of-the-art computers and technology to print counterfeit currency notes which are almost exact copies of those printed by the India Security Press.

The SP said that Nagireddipet police nabbed one Bitla Laxminaryana of Goli Lingala village on suspicion that he was circulating fake currency notes and recovered fake currency worth Rs. 6,000 from his possession.

Based on the lead provided by Laxminarayana, a police party arrested Renikindi Srinivas, a resident of Siddipet, who allegedly acted as an agent.

The police found Rs. 5,000 with Srinivas and picked him up for interrogation.

Srinivas' arrest gave further insight into the well-organised racket. He confessed that one Khaled Masiuddin alias Maulana of Talabkatta in Hyderabad was the key person of the gang.

Maulana, who owed some money to his friends decided to take the easy way out by printing counterfeit currency notes.

He purchased a computer and scanner for the purpose. A computer service engineer, Vincent, of Kurnool town, helped Maulana set up the counterfeit currency software.

The gang would first scan the original notes, carefully adjusting the number and resolution. Then they were printed onto two separate papers, which were carefully pasted together with special adhesive to give it an original look.

The silver line in the notes was fixed with the help of a punching machine. The Mahatma Gandhi portrait was adjusted using screen-printing.

The main accused had 15 agents spread across Nizamabad, Medak, Kurnool, Cuddapah and Hyderabad.

Three more members -- Gani Mahesh Goud of Karimnagar district, Paltani Satish Reddy of Medak district and Eswar Reddy of Kurnool district -- were arrested later.

In all, counterfeit currency notes worth Rs. 8 lakhs were printed and distributed to different agents on a commission basis or at 1:3 ratio. The racket was busted only after rumours started floating that counterfeit currency notes were in circulation in Nagireddipet mandal.

The SP said Nizamabad and Medak police worked jointly to bust the gang.

He complimented the Kamareddy DSP, Harikrishna, the Toopran CI, Nookala Venkateswarulu, the Yellareddy CI and the Nagireddipet SI for nabbing the accused.

The six arrested were remanded to judicial custody. The SP announced rewards for the police party that had nabbed them.

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