New Delhi: Three people have been arrested for trafficking counterfeit Indian currency notes of face value Rs.3.8 lakh, police said on Thursday. Mohammed Nazir, 39; Kabir Sheikh, 22; and Haq Shahib, 22 -- all residents of Malda in West Bengal -- were arrested on January 23 from Ashram Chowk in south Delhi while they were about to deliver the fake currency to prospective buyers.
Police said the three used to smuggle fake Indian notes from Bangladesh for circulation in India and destabilise the Indian economy.
"A decoy customer was sent to strike a deal for purchasing fake notes of face value Rs.10,000 for which Rs.5,000 in genuine currency was given to the decoy customer," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Yadav.
"All the three were arrested after the deal was finalised. The counterfeit currency was seized from them," he said.
Yadav said the recovered fake notes were in the denomination of Rs.500. The officer said the three used to approach vendors and weekly market shopkeepers to change the counterfeit notes of Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 by purchasing small items.
"They also used to look out for potential customers and lure them by offering counterfeit notes at 50 percent price," he said.
They used code words for fake Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 notes -- "Badi lungi" and "Chhoti lungi", respectively.
"The gang used to get fake notes from Bangladesh. Once they succeeded in circulating these notes in the market, they would return to their native place and come back with new consignments after some time," the officer said.
To avoid police surveillance, they frequently changed their rented accommodation in Delhi, the officer said.
"The gang had earlier circulated fake notes of face value more than Rs.50 lakh in Delhi and NCR (National Capital Region). A consignment of nearly Rs.10 lakh of this gang was seized by Uttar Pradesh Police last month.
A hunt is on to nab other members of the gang, said the officer.