Muscat: A fake currency racket kingpin arrested last week at an airport in south India had worked for several years in Oman, Kerala crime branch officials claimed.
The Organised Crime Wing (OCW) of the crime branch in Kerala arrested a man suspected to be the kingpin of a racket which smuggled fake Indian currency notes (FICN) through Muscat, Dubai and Sharjah to Kerala.
Haneefa, 44, of Kulimuttom, Thrissur, was apprehended when he landed at the Coimbatore airport last Tuesday.
He was first taken into custody by the officials of the Immigration Wing on the basis of a lookout notice issued against him. They later handed him over to the crime branch team led by G. S. Sanal Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police.
According to senior officials, Haneefa, in January this year, sent 39 bundles of Pakistan printed FICN valued at Rs975,000 (approximately OMR6,118) through Abid of Malappuram, Kerala.
The consignment was seized by the team headed by C. Madhavan, Deputy Commissioner of Customs, and Anil Kumar, Customs Assistant Commissioner. During the probe, it was found that the bag containing FICN was handed over to Abid by Haneefa and Salim. Abid was told that the baggage given to him contained saffron flowers.
"It was after a detailed investigation that we located his residence in Trissur. He had been working in Muscat, Dubai and Sharjah for the last several years. He frequently travelled to Kerala and is suspected to have brought FICN with him. A detailed interrogation would give more details about the case. Salim, another accused, is still at large. A lookout notice against him has also been issued," the officials said.
The officials added that the suspects may have links with terror groups in the country. "We will conduct further investigation to find out who else is involved in the racket," said a senior official.