Fake currency racket reaches Goa minister’s doorstep

August 11th, 2011 - 12:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Aug 11 (IANS) An accused in a counterfeit currency racket busted recently was a regular visitor at a Goa minister’s house, police said Thursday.

The accused, a grass-roots Congress worker, Hemant Chodankar alias Chintamani, was a regular frequenter at state Civil Supplies Minister Jose Phillip D’Souza’s house, a senior police officer said.

“Why should I be afraid? I am a political person, so many people come to my house,” D’Souza said.

The fake currency racket, in which counterfeit currency, sourced from Bangladesh was being pumped into a casino, was busted Aug 2 by the casino operator himself.

“Immediately after the casino operator complained that fake money was being pumped into their system by Chintamani, the latter went straight to D’Souza’s house in Vasco,” the officer added.

“He (Chintamani) came to me that time after he was caught in the casino, but I told him that I have never and will never support anything which is illegal. Therefore you cannot say that I protected him,” said D’Souza, a Nationalist Congress Party legislator.

Rs.2.77 lakh in counterfeit notes have already been seized by the Goa police, and more fake currency caches are expected to be unearthed with the Goa police arresting three people, including Police Sub Inspector (PSI) Vaibhav Naik.

Besides police officers, the racket involves businessmen and ruling grass-roots political party members.

“Police officers, politicians or even government servants are not spared when it comes to law. The suspension (and arrest) of PSI Vaibhav Naik has shown that law is for everyone as our state police have even acted against their own personnel,” Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik said Wednesday.

Vaibhav Naik and his associates allegedly posed as gamblers in the casino.

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