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ISI behind counterfeit Indian currency racket, says Bangladesh

January 30, 2010 14:06 IST

Pakistani intelligence is involved in marketing counterfeit currency in India and Bangladesh to patronise militant groups like Lashkar-e-Tayiba for their cross-border operations, a media report in Dhaka claimed on Saturday. Quoting Bangladeshi police and intelligence agencies, the mass circulation Prothom Alo newspaper said several detained suspected members involved in such activities said a Pakistani intelligence agency patronised them and their operations were being regulated from Karachi.

"The (Bangladeshi) intelligence officials identified one 'Majumdar' as the coordinator of their operations in Bangladesh (and) a manhunt is underway to arrest him," the report said. Dhaka Police Commissioner A K M Shahidul Haque said he suspected that a large part of the counterfeit currency was being used to patronise militant groups like the LeT. Deputy commissioner of the detective branch of police, Monirul Islam also said that through extensive interrogation of the detained members they now suspected the involvement of Pakistani intelligence. "It is not possible to run such (Pakistan-based counterfeiting) networks for long without the help of any strong patronisation," the Alo quoted him as saying. Another official said they last year arrested a Pakistani national with huge fake currency and he was suspected to be an agent of the Pakistani intelligence agency. 

The report came 10 days after Bangladesh police arrested three people, including two Pakistani nationals, one being a woman, with counterfeit Indian currency having face value of about Rs 10 lakh from a Dhaka hotel. During preliminary interrogation, the arrested people told police that they had made several visits to Nepal, India and Pakistan to smuggle fake Indian notes over the last three years, media reports said. "They use secret codes to identify themselves and they are known gang members ," a report said, quoting an official familiar with the investigation.

Police said they found names of at least eight other Pakistani women to be involved in the smuggling, who used to carry fake currency with face value of two crore in every consignment. They suspected that seven groups were engaged in smuggling fake currency.

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