Cashier taken to court in fake currency notes scam (Lead)

August 11th, 2008 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  


Lucknow, Aug 11 (IANS) The cashier of the State Bank of India (SBI) branch at Domariyaganj in Uttar Pradesh who was arrested for his involvement in a Rs.20 million fake currency racket was presented before a special judge of the district court handling cases of corruption here Monday, officials informed. Sudhakar Tripathi was arrested July 29 and during interrogation confessed to exchanging fake currency notes with a nominal value of Rs.15 million with original ones from the bank’s currency chest.

Co-accused Abid Shekh, who was arrested earlier, was also brought before the court along with Tripathi.

The court has fixed Tuesday as next date of hearing.

The scam came to light when the Special Task Force (STF) of the state police arrested four people in possession of fake currency notes in the Domariyaganj town of Sidharthnagar disrict.

“Sustained interrogation of Abid Sheikh alias Pundit, who was among those arrested, gave us leads to Tripathi, from whose residence we recovered RS.700,000 in cash,” additional director of police Brij Lal told IANS.

The probe was transferred to the SIT last week. Currently the SIT is camping in Siddharthnagar along with the STF.

“We requested the chief judicial magistrate of Siddharthnagar to transfer the case to special judge, anti corruption, central Lucknow and giving a positive response, the CJM issued the orders,” superintendent of police, SIT, A.K. Mishra said.

Earlier on Sunday, the SIT team raided the houses of Tripathi and Abid in Domariyaganj and according to sources, some vital clues were collected.

“We recovered a wallet from Tripathi’s house that contained some addresses and phone numbers. About 10 kg of coins were also recovered,” the source added.

During searches at Abid’s house, it was revealed that Abid was allegedly running the racket under the guise of a journalist.

“He used to move around in a luxury car and outside his office was a board Of various newspapers. He presented himself as the representative of these newspapers and had good connections with influential people of the region,” an SIT source informed.

Meanwhile, a team from the Reserve Bank of India that is scanning each currency note in the chest has so far found fake currency notes worth Rs.20 million, the police said.

According to manager Dashrath Cirgainya, the currency chest contained about Rs.1.84 billion as the branch supplies money to smaller branches of the district and the neighbouring districts.

It will take another week to scan all the currency notes in the chest, a bank source added.

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