Fresh trail links Karachi to fake Indian money in Nepal

August 12th, 2011 - 4:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Sushil Kumar Kathmandu, Aug 12 (IANS) The arrest of another Pakistani national with fake Indian currency in Nepal has once more set the pointer towards Pakistan’s Karachi city as a prime place for making and distributing counterfeit notes intended to fund terrorist activities and destabilise India’s economy.

Nepal police Thursday arrested Sheikh Mohammad Fahim of Karachi from a hotel in a prime tourist location in Kathmandu with nearly Rs.5.5 million in fake Indian currency notes of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 denomination.

Fahim had arrived from Dubai with the money packed in a rice cooker carton that was not detected at any of the three airports he passed through.

However, acting on inside information, police followed him to the Blue Horizon hotel near the Thamel area in Kathmandu and arrested the Pakistani together with his Nepali visitor who had come to collect the money.

The arrested visitor, Sushil Kumar Singh of Parsa district, was the next link in the chain who was to have smuggled the money into India through the open border.

Frequent arrests of Pakistani nationals in Nepal have bolstered evidence that the money was pouring into Nepal from Karachi.

In May this year, police arrested Syed Sardar Hussain, who had flown in from Karachi carrying over Rs.3 million in fake Indian currency.

In 2010, police arrested at least 10 people with the fake notes with three of them being Pakistanis and the stashes invariably shown to be originating in Pakistan.

They included Mohammad Farook, a disabled Pakistani, who aroused the suspicion of security personnel at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu last August when he insisted on wheeling himself through customs in the wheelchair he had brought from Pakistan instead of using the one offered to him at the airport.

Hidden in the wheelchair was Rs.2.5 million in fake notes. Farook had arrived on a direct Pakistan International Airlines flight from Karachi.

In March 2010, police arrested a solitary Pakistani woman travelling on her own from Karachi. Miriam Wali Mohammed was carrying Rs.3 million in fake notes.

In September 2010, police arrested Nepali Tek Bahadur Karki, who had brought Rs.4 million in counterfeit notes from Karachi, making a detour through Bangkok to avoid suspicion.

There are allegations that many of the arrested Pakistanis have been carrying on with the counterfeit racket even from Nepal’s prisons, staying in close contact with their bosses in Pakistan.

The allegations were proved to be true when last year, Mohammad Jamil, who was caught at the airport in May 2010 with fake Indian notes with a face value of nearly Rs.2 million, dramatically escaped from a Nepal hospital toilet and has not been found yet.

(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at sudeshna.s@ians.in)

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