Fake currency with the face value of Rs 26.10 lakh, in the new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denominations, were seized here on Monday and two persons arrested, police said.
“The city Crime Branch personnel intercepted a car and recovered fake currency notes of face value of Rs 26 lakh in Rs 2,000 denomination and another Rs 10,000 in Rs 500 denomination,” said Rajkot Police Commissioner Anupam Singh Gehlot.
“The notes were kept inside the speaker box of the car they were travelling,” he told reporters.
Police arrested Hriday Jagani and Lakshman Chauhan, both from Ahmedabad, for possession of the fake currency.
Gehlot said the police have also recovered a high-quality colour printing machine from the two arrested persons. “It seems the machine was used to print the currency notes,” he added.
Police have identified the mastermind to be a person called Jignesh Shah, who they claim is a land broker from Ahmedabad. “Jignesh would find customers seeking to exchange their old currency notes and would order printing of notes after he struck a deal with them. They would exchange the new notes with their fake ones at 50 per cent discount. Thus they would have sold their Rs 26 lakh notes for Rs 13 lakh worth of original notes,” the police commissioner said.
Police have launched a manhunt for Shah as they believe that the accused may have supplied several such notes after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes announced on November 8.
Of the two arrested, Jagani worked as a printer and had good technical know-how of printing and cutting notes with perfection. “The key idea was to slip in 5-6 fake notes in a bundle of 100 original notes and put them in circulation gradually. Thus they would try and pass off their fake currency with original. They even had prepared tags and seal of State Bank of India to ensure their notes look genuine,” Gehlot said.
“They would earn around Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 on supply of Rs 2 lakh,” Gehlot said.
Giving details of currency seizure post demonetisation, he said that so far around Rs 2 crore worth of old notes and Rs 70 lakh of new notes had been seized from Rajkot alone.