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Assam man held for running fake currency racket in Bengaluru

Guwahati: The National Investigation Agency has arrested a man from Assam for circulating fake Indian currency notes (FICN) in Bengaluru.

An NIA team from Hyderabad arrested Mohammed Akbar Ali, a resident of Goroimari Pathar in Kamrup district, near Guwahati. He was produced before a local court for a transit remand. He is being taken to Andhra Pradesh to be produced before a special NIA court in Vijayawada.

NIA officials said Akbar Ali was the kingpin of a racket that brought FICN from the international borders and circulated them in Bengaluru and elsewhere in Karnataka. The NIA had registered a case against him in Hyderabad in 2015 after announcing a reward of ₹25,000 for information leading to his whereabouts.

The case pertains to the seizure of FICN worth 501,500 from one Saddam Hossain in Visakhapatnam in September 2015.

“Investigation revealed that Saddam was part of a larger group involved in smuggling of FICN and had travelled between West Bengal’s Malda and Bengaluru four times for circulating the fake currencies,” an NIA officer said on condition of anonymity.

The proceeds of the fake currency distribution were deposited in the accounts of Saddam and his associates, including Akbar Ali, and suppliers in Malda.

Charge sheet

The NIA in Hyderabad had filed charge sheets against Saddam and his associate Amirul Hoque in 2016 and against two other associates— Roustam and Hakim — on July 24 this year.

“Akbar went to Bengaluru from Assam in 2007 and began working in a flower shop. He was soon introduced to the FICN business by his uncle Hakim. Akbar gradually formed an inter-state gang to spread the network,” the NIA officer said.