Muscat: After the reports were published about three Omanis arrested for exchanging fake currency in the South Indian state of Kerala, an unconfirmed report noted that a fourth Omani had also been held by the police for the same crime.
"We heard that another Omani has been arrested for exchanging fake currency at a tourist spot in Kerala. But the news has not yet been confirmed," sources told Times of Oman.
Over the last 10 days, an Omani couple and another Omani were held in Kerala reportedly for exchanging fake currency, which they had purchased from authorised money exchange centers in Oman. The Omani couple was detained when they exchanged money at the hotel where they were staying. Another Omani was detained when he exchanged money to purchase a telephone card in Kerala.
Meanwhile, the arrests and rumours have created panic among Indians and Omanis. "The situation is getting worse. I learned that the central government is going to intervene," Siddique Hassan, a Muscat-based social worker, said.
"The Indian Embassy should educate Omanis on how to stay safe in India before issuing visas. They should try to produce printed materials listing the Do's and Don'ts, in both Arabic and English, for Omanis going to India. The Omanis should also make sure they have the necessary documents for Indian currency, detailing the serial numbers of the currency notes they purchased in Oman before travelling to India,"
Siddique remarked, while adding that he was going to submit a plea to put this solution into effect at the Indian embassy.
"The exchange outlets should also be extra cautious when dealing with currencies. I believe they can stop this phenomenon," Siddique said.