US dollars, fake Indian currency seized in Bengal

Kolkata, Feb 24
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) sleuths have seized foreign currency worth over Rs 80 lakh and fake Indian currency notes of face value Rs 1 lakh in two separate operations in West Bengal, an official said on Monday.

Two persons have been arrested.

In two breakthrough operations, DRI recovered and seized large amounts of fake Indian currency, smuggled from Bangladesh as well as foreign currency.

An amount of $112,100, meant to be sent for Bhutan to finance smuggling of goods from there into India, was seized at the Siliguri Junction Railway Station on February 19, while Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) of a total face value of Rs 100,000 were seized from Barddhaman Junction Railway Station on Saturday.

Based on intelligence, officers of DRI tracked, identified and intercepted a passenger of Gour Express at Barddhaman Junction Railway Station early on Saturday.

On interrogation, passenger, identified as Jakir Sheikh, admitted that he was carrying 50 Fake Indian Currency Notes of Rs 2000 denomination.

Preliminary investigation also revealed that the recovered FICN was sourced from Bangladesh and that Sheikh regularly smuggled FICN from Malda, the DRI official said.

The recovered FICN was seized and Sheikh arrested under the provisions of the Customs Act.

In another breakthrough, acting on specific intelligence, DRI officers intercepted Prosen Bhowmik from Sealdah-Alipurduar Kanchan Kanya Express at Siliguri Junction Railway on February 19.

Personal search revealed that Bhowmik was carrying US dollars concealed in two specially tailored cloth belt tied around his chest and waist. A total of $112,100 in $100 denomination notes equivalent to Rs 80,19,091 was recovered.

Bhowmik confessed that was on his way to Hasimara to hand over the foreign currency to a person in Jaigaon who in turn would smuggle out the same to Bhutan.

He also admitted that he had carried such consignments of US dollars several times in the last few months as well.

The US dollars were seized and Bhowmik was arrested under the provisions of the Customs Act.

In the current Financial year, DRI has made four seizures of FICN in West Bengal of a cumulative face value of Rs 8.2 lakh. The agency has also effected three seizures preventing smuggling out of foreign currencies. The cumulative value in INR of such seizures stands at about Rs 7.4 crore in the ongoing fiscal.