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Fake currency syndicates on the go in Eid bonanza
BdChronicle Special Report:
There are at least 20 syndicates actively involved in circulating fake currency notes in the capital alone, in the lead-up to Eid ul Fitr.
The Detective Branch of DMP has already identified 15 syndicates who are involved in making and circulating fake currency notes in the country.
Though law enforcing agencies, including DB as well as the elite force Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), have intensified their anti-fake currency drives, the syndicates continue to be active.
The law enforcers have already arrested several syndicates’ members and recovered huge quantities of fake notes along with forged currency making materials and equipments from different areas in the capital recently.
The arrested syndicate members have already revealed that they had plans to circulate over Tk 10 crores worth of fake notes in the market.
Sources at the DB headquarters said most of the arrested syndicate members have been released on bail, exploiting loopholes in the law.
Around 83 people, including six foreign nationals––two South Africans and four Pakistanis—were arrested by the DB over a period of one year till last May 31, in connection with the illegal trade in fake currency. Forged currency notes worth about Tk 8 crore along with various equipments used in the process were recovered from their possession.
A total of 15 cases were filed in different police stations in the capital in connection with the incidents. But many of those released from jail went back to fake currency trading.
A senior DB officer said fake currency traders usually step up their activity in the periods leading up to the biggest religious festivals, likes Eid and Durga Puja, due to the increased velocity of monetary transactions during those periods.
The fake currency trading syndicates now prefer to distribute counterfeit notes in district and upazila levels due to strong vigilance of law-enforcing agencies. They have agents and sub-agents at the district and upazila levels, and even in the Union Parishad areas, the DB officer said preferring anonymity.
Talking to this reporter, Joint Commissioner (DB) Monirul Islam said the detectives have already intensified their drives to catch them following identification of 15 syndicates that are involved in fake currency making and trading in the capital. Each group has 10-20 members, he added.
Several of them have already been arrested, while others will be netted soon, the Joint Commissioner (DB) said.
Detectives arrested six suspected members of a counterfeit money syndicate, including a woman, and seized counterfeit notes of around Tk 50 lakh from their possession in Mirpur area of the city on the night of June 8.
The arrested gangsters were identified as syndicate leader Md Shafiqul Islam alias Shamim, Md Sohagh Adhikary, Md Sumon Ahmed, Md Bayejid Uddin, Md Siddiqur Rahman and Jesmin Akhtar.
On June 13, the detectives arrested six members of fake currency making syndicates from West Kafrul area along with fake currency worth Tk 40 lakh. One of the gang members revealed that they had planned to circulate fake notes worth Tk 1 crore in the market ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The arrested were identified as Hawlader Sohel, Mazaharul Islam, Alamin, Arif Arman alias Nipo, Shafiqul Islam and Sohel Miah.
In the latest incident, a team of Rab foiled another attempt to circulate fake notes worth around Tk 10 crore in the market arresting five syndicate members, including its chief, from Banasree in the early hours of Sunday.