They were preparing to circulate the fake money in cattle market before Eid-ul-Azha
A couple were detained with fake currency worth Tk43 lakh in the capital on Monday.
The husband, Abdur Rahim Sheikh, has been involved in the fake currency business for 11 years.
Detectives of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) caught him red-handed along with his spouse Fatema Begum while they were selling the fake currency to their dealers, who were likely to circulate it in the cattle market ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
Following the raid at Nurer Chala area in Saidnagar, AKM Hafiz Akter, additional commissioner of DMP as well as Detective Branch (DB) chief of the city police, said: “Multiple cases of fake currency have previously been filed against the couple. We recovered fake 500 and 1000 taka notes of around Tk43,00,000.”
Police also held three dealers named Helal Khan, Anwar Hossain and Israfil Amin, who have had fake money circulate strategically in the market.
The three buyers told police that they bought fake currencies of Tk1,00,000 against Tk15,000 only, said Hafiz.
“During initial questioning, they acknowledged that they were set to release the fake currency before Eid-ul-Adha,” the DB chief claimed.
He added that those who committed such fraudulent activities usually picked isolated areas to establish their production unit.
Mashiur Rahman, Gulshan Division Deputy Commissioner of DB, told Dhaka Tribune that a huge quantity of materials used to produce fake notes had been seized. They included a laptop, two colour printers, huge quantities of glue, various types of colours, plenty of A4-size paper, security thread, laminating machine, cutter, portrait of Bangabandhu used in currency notes and special paper containing the logo of Bangladesh Bank.
“Fake money worth crores could be produced with those elements,” said DC Mashiur Rahman, adding that a case was being prepared against them.
Fatema Begum was earlier arrested in 2019 while producing fake money in a house in Hatirjheel, but her husband Rahim escaped. All of the detainees acknowledged that they had previously been arrested for fake money or drug peddling, the Gulshan DC of DB told this newspaper.
One of the detainees, Helal Khan, involved in the Yaba trade in Teknaf, sponsored their illegal business, said DC Mashiur.
Their production cost is about Tk8,000 for a bundle of 100 notes, which they then sell to dealers for Tk15,000-Tk16,000. The dealers then sell it to retailers for Tk20,000 to Tk25,000.
The root-level retailers spread the fake money in jewellery shops, clothing stores, convenience stores and the cattle market, said DC Mashiur.
“New laws should be formulated to stop the fake currency business. Sometimes the culprits obtain bail from the High Court due to loopholes in the law,” the DC said.
Such was the case with Rahim. After he was detained, he told reporters that he had been previously arrested in several cases and was released after only three or four months.
“Our dealers target simple-minded people who come from rural areas to the cattle markets [to sell their cattle to brokers]. They bargain with the older cattle owners who do not pay any heed to the notes. This is the way we target people and spread the money to be distributed in the following days,” the confident culprit said.