RAB seized fake bank notes worth around Tk5 crore from a house in the capital
Only two old beds, a pair of chairs and a table. That is all you can see in the two-room apartment.
No one could doubt the bed and pillows kept on them were full of counterfeit currencies worth crores of taka. Not only that, the upper chamber of the only toilet in the flat was used as a storeroom of newly-made fake notes.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Friday busted a house at Dhanmondi area in Dhaka where a racket had been forging Bangladeshi bank notes for the past five years. The house, rented by the ring leader Saiful Islam, looked like one belonging to a middle-class family.
Saiful used to sleep on those beds of fake notes, said RAB sources.
In the flat, a team of RAB-10 seized fake bank notes of two types – Tk500 and Tk1000 – amounting to about Tk5 crore. They also seized various sorts of currency faking equipment, including nine printers, chemical and lots of watermarked white papers, from the house.
The RAB members saw counterfeit Bangladeshi notes were coming out of a printer with the same size of a real one, 160mm in length and 70mm in width, and the watermark of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
A member of the elite force of Bangladesh Police brought out a real Tk1,000 note from his wallet and found it was no different from the fake notes they had just seized from the house.
The RAB came to know that Saiful's gang had been faking currencies in different areas of the capital for long 19 years.
How RAB got to know about the factory
On Thursday, the same RAB team arrested a counterfeit note seller named Shahidul Alam from the capital's Kadomtoli area and seized Tk1,90,000-worth fake notes from his possession.
During primary investigation, Shahidul revealed to the RAB that he had been involved with a gang of currency counterfeiters operating out of Dhanmondi. One day later, the RAB team launched a drive at the house and arrested the gang leader Saiful.
Saiful's landlord said he had rented the flat over 5 years ago. "He submitted his national identity card and all other necessary documents, and we could not doubt him," the landlord said, wishing anonymity.
Major Shahriar Shakil of RAB-10, who led the drive, told The Business Standard, "Shahidul informed us about the racket, and we came to know that they had been running the counterfeiting operation since 2000 at many places in the capital."
He also said ringleader Saiful was earlier sent to jail in a case over his involvement in a theft in 2000.
"During the prison life, he learned the technic of counterfeiting currency. After his release, he started the 'innovative business'," Shahriar added.
Later he and his gang were also sent to prison on counterfeiting charges. But they came out after securing bail.
According to RAB sources, Saiful appeared to have been a good man to his neighbours and used to lead a plain life. But his simplicity was a trick to avoid suspicion.
His house is a short distance away from the main road, and people in the area have seen him coming to the house either by a rickshaw or on foot. But the ordinary Saiful never let others realise that he had been engaged in a horrible crime for many years, said RAB officials.