Swindler exchanges fake notes at RBI

MRA Marg police arrested 26-yr-old, already in Dongri police's custody for circulating fake currency, for cheating the bank that helps issue Indian currency, of around Rs 4 lakh

If the central bank of the country, which helps design, indent and print Indian currency, could not tell the real thing from the spurious, you can gauge how dexterously the con of counterfeit currency is being carried out.

Sham! Sham! Police said the fake currency bore almost all the insignia
of genuine notes, which was why it slipped past the notice of many RBI
officials working in the cash department at the bank's Fort headquarters.

The MRA Marg police yesterday arrested a man for bluffing the Reserve Bank Of India by exchanging counterfeit notes worth Rs 3.88 lakh for genuine currencies. Incidentally, the accused was already under arrest by the Dongri police in a fake currency racket.

Headquartered in Fort, the RBI, responsible for helping institute safeguards in notes so they are not easily duplicated and creating awareness about fake notes, has a counter in the basement of the building where people go to exchange torn, disfigured or old notes with fresh ones.

On various occasions between September 2010 and June 2011, one Saiddul alias Aslam Surat Ali Shaikh (26), a resident of Pydhonie, frequented this counter to exchange 'worn-out notes' of Rs 10, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 with fresh ones from the bank. One day, while scrutinising the notes, Pravin Joshi, employed in the RBI for 33 years, found that around 789 notes were not genuine. Immediately, the cash department approached the deputy treasurer with whose help an FIR was registered with the MRA Marg police.

As good as real 
"Usually, the cash department, which replaces soiled and mutilated cash, uses blue lamps to check whether a note is fake or genuine. But the fake notes looked very similar to the original ones, and only an expert could have spotted the missing motifs. This is why the bogus bills slid past many several sets of trained eyes," said a police officer on the condition of anonymity.

After enquiries, the police zeroed in on Shaikh, who was already lodged in the Dongri police station. "Shaikh was in the custody of the Dongri police for circulating fake currency. We approached the police station and took charge of his custody. The accused had confessed about his involvement but we are yet to interrogate him about the origination of fake currency. We have got his custody from the court, and his interrogation is likely to give us further leads in the case," said an officer from MRA Marg police station. 

Confirming the arrest, Asst. Police Inspector Suresh Vasekar said, "The RBI had found some of the currencies to be fake. After they approached us, we arrested the accused. Investigations are still on."

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