Pak-printed Indian currency seized from Nedumbassery airport

via Pioneer News Service | Kochi published on May 3, 2008

Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence on Saturday seized counterfeit Indian currency worth Rs 20 lakh, printed in Pakistan, from a passenger at the Kochi international airport Nedumbassery. Passenger Tajuddeen of Kanhangad and Kamaluddin from Thrissur who had come to receive the former at the airport were arrested in connection with the haul. DRI officials suspect that smuggling of the Pak-printed counterfeit Indian currencies could be part of a clandestine operation of the Pak espionage agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, to destabilise the Indian economy.

DRI officials, acting upon a specific tip-off, recovered the counterfeit currencies, in bundles of Rs 500 denomination, concealed in flasks and chess board boxes, from the luggage of Tajuddin who came by a Dubai-Colombo-Kochi flight of Sri Lanka Airways that landed at Kochi at 9.00 am Saturday. Sources in the Directorate said Tajuddin had confirmed that the currencies had been printed in Pakistan.

The DRI had mounted thorough surveillance at all the three international airports of the State – Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode – in the past two days on information that fake currencies from Dubai could land in Kerala. Officials said that seizure of such a huge sum of currencies in one lot was rare though fake Indian currencies of foreign origin had been seized several times.

DRI sources said they had reports that a network was operating out of Dubai for smuggling Pak-manufactured counterfeit Indian currencies into Kerala by air. They said there was now every reason to believe that the theory was true. They said there was every possibility that Tajuddin and Kamaluddin were links in the suspected vast currency network. They added that Tajuddin and Kamaluddin would be interrogated thoroughly to know more about the racket.

Kamaluddin, who had come to the airport to receive Tajuddin, was a suspect in an earlier passport case.

The seizure assumes added significance in the context of the widespread violence, which had threatened to explode into a major communal riot, in mid-April, which claimed four lives. Tajuddin belonged to Kasaragod district. Intelligence official said that there were reports of money changing hands through underworld elements in Kasaragod and Mumbai and that no one was sure of what kind of money was being used for such activities.

Meanwhile, BJP State president PK Krishnadas said in Kasaragod that those who were engaged in terror acts in four other States were now hiding in Kerala.

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