Pune: Garment business owner from Mumbai among four more arrested in counterfeit currency racket in Pimpri-Chinchwad

Pune: Garment business owner from Mumbai among four more arrested in counterfeit currency racket in Pimpri-Chinchwad

Pune: Investigations into the counterfeit currency use in land dealings involving three suspects from Pimpri-Chinchwad area have revealed that the racket was spread to Mumbai and Nashik district too and a total of 300 fake currency notes of Rs 2000 denomination were printed by the suspects so far. Pimpri police have arrested four more suspects including one from Mumbai and Nashik each in this case.

The newly arrested suspects have been identified as Akhtar Iqbal Akbar Mirza (57), a resident of Hazar Kholi at Malegaon in Nashik, Khalil Ahmed Abdul Hamid Ansari (40) from Bharat Bakery Street, Bharatnagar in Mumbai, Pramod Amrit Gaikwad (33), a resident of Dnyanesh Park in Navi Sangvi and Nayum Rahim Saheb Pathan (33), a resident of Yashada Raj Bhavan Complex, Baner Road, Aundh.

Police said Ansari owns a garment business in Mumbai while Mirza had been working in a printing press for many years. Suresh Patole used to work as a security guard and has a house in Chikhali area.

Pimpri police had on August 17 arrested Abhishek Pradip Kataria (19), a resident of Anand Park, Thergaon, Omkar Shashikant Jadhav (19), residing at Keshavnagar in Chinchwad and Suresh Bhagwan Patole (40), from Pate Vasti of Phugewadi in this case.

Katariya, Jadhav and Patole were nabbed after a brief chase on old Pune-Mumbai highway near Khandoba Maal and Akurdi by police personnel deployed on bikes at the checkpoints. Jadhav and Patole had borrowed some money from Katariya to finalise a land deal. When Katariya started following up for recovering the hand loan, the suspects offered him counterfeit currency which was to be brought in circulation.

Ansari was indebted. He was acquainted with Gaikwad. The duo planned to print counterfeit notes. Mirza also met them during the lockdown period. Although Mirza was a school dropout, he had immense skills related to the printing press. He offered to use those skills for printing fake notes. Meanwhile, these suspects were also acquainted with Patole and they took him along too. Patole's house in Chikhali was used to print the fake notes.

After printing these notes, the suspects had given about 150 fake notes of Rs 2000 denomination to Kataria and another 100 to one other suspect - who is presently lodged in a jail in connection with another offence - to bring them into circulation. Kataria along with Omkar Jadhav from Akurdi were nabbed by Pimpri police on August 17 after which the entire racket was busted. Meanwhile, Nayum Pathan was also found in possession of printed notes.

Police have seized printers, ink bottles, scanners, paper and other materials from the suspects so far. The suspects have been charged under sections 489B (Using as genuine, forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank-notes) and 489C (Possession of forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank-notes) of the Indian Penal Code.

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