A special NIA court has convicted a woman in the Bengaluru fake currency case involving the smuggling of huge quantities of high-quality counterfeit banknotes from Bangladesh into India via Karnataka.
Vanitha alias ‘Thangam’ is the sixth accused to be convicted in the case.
She was sentenced to six years of imprisonment under Section 489B (using as genuine counterfeit currency notes) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), five years of imprisonment under Section 489C (possession of counterfeit currency notes) of the IPC, and two years of imprisonment under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. All the sentences will run concurrently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said on Saturday.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on Vanitha.
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In a joint operation with the NIA in 2018, the Karnataka Police seized fake currency with a face value of Rs 2.50 lakh from Vanitha following the arrest of three other accused with counterfeit currency notes with a face value of Rs 4.34 lakh.
The case was initially registered by the Karnataka Police under various sections of the IPC based on the complaint lodged by an NIA officer in 2018, the agency said.
Subsequently, the NIA re-registered the case and mounted a thorough investigation and surveillance that led to the exposure of the fake Indian currency notes (FICN) racket headed by prime accused Abdul Khadir, it said.
Further investigations by the NIA indicated a potential transaction of fake notes by three people in Bengaluru, according to the agency.
Between 2018 and 2022, the NIA filed charge sheets against eight people. Three of these — Mohammed Sajjad Ali alias ‘Chachu’, M G Raju alias ‘Master’, and Abdul Kadir — were convicted by the special court to six years of imprisonment.
Two other accused, Gangadhar Kholkar and Sabiruddin, were also subsequently convicted and sentenced by the special court to six years of imprisonment, the NIA said.