Seven held in Nepal with fake Pak-made Indian currency

India is worried over use of Nepal as a transit for fake Indian notes.

Kathmandu: Nepal police have arrested seven people, including two Indians, with a stash of fake Indian currency worth over Rs 4 million manufactured in Pakistan.

The notes were smuggled into Nepal by Nepali Tek Bahadur Karki, who arrived at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Wednesday from Pakistan.

Keeping in mind the surveillance on passengers arriving from Pakistan, Karki had made a detour through Bangkok.

Though he sauntered out of the airport with the money hidden in a suitcase with false bottom, his taxi was stopped dramatically by cops who arrested him with six accomplices.

They included two Indians from Motihari district in Bihar, Mukhtar Ansari and Isamuddin Alam.

The arrest comes a month after police arrested a disabled Pakistani at the airport, Mohammad Farook, while trying to smuggle in Rs 2.5 million in fake Indian currency hidden in his wheelchair and hand baggage.

Farook had arrived on a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Karachi.

In the last 13 months, Nepal police have seized fake Indian currency worth more than Rs 20 million.

The use of Nepal as a growing transit for fake Indian notes has been increasingly worrying the Indian government, especially the counterfeiters` ability to duplicate key security elements in the Indian notes.

The issue remains on the agenda of top Indian visitors to Nepal, ranging from External Affairs Minister SM Krishna to Home Secretary GK Pillai.

The open border between India and Nepal is also exploited by the gangs that employ mostly Indians, Nepalis and Pakistanis as moles.

This year, a Pakistani woman was arrested at the airport with fake Indian notes. In the past, police busted a meticulously planned network that operated in the guise of a travel agency in Kathmandu.

Despite the arrest of an influential former Nepali minister`s son, Yunus Ansari, regarded as a kingpin with links to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, police here have not been able to destroy the network that continues to flourish through new routes and moles.