On Saturday, the Keesara police raided a black money exchange ring based in Karimnagar and arrested five suspects in Shamirpet. Fake currency with a face value of over Rs.1 crore, genuine currency with a face value of Rs.1.3 lakh, a car, and other items were seized. Mohd Azeez alias Azam (35), a realtor from Karkhana Galli in Karimnagar, Mohd. Anwar Pasha (38), a driver from Peddapally district, T.Subhash Chandra Bose (41), a Telugu film production manager from Sanathnagar, M.Nagaraju (28) a driver from Abdullapurmet, and J.Bhagya Laxmi Ravinder Singh and Rajesh, two accused, were arrested.
Azeez was earlier arrested four times in Karimnagar for the same offences, said police. According to the officials, Bhagya and Azeez discussed the possibility of exchanging black money and profiting from it last month, and Azeez recruited others to join them in the scheme. After introducing Azeez as an ad film director in need of fake currency, Bose arranged fake currency notes with a face value of Rs.1 crore with the help of an art director from Krishna Nagar in Yousufguda. According to Mahesh Bhagwat, Police Commissioner, Rachakonda, Anwar Pasha, a junior artiste, arranged for a police uniform, while Bhagya and Ravinder Singh were tasked with finding patrons.
Bhagya met with complainant N. Raji Reddy and informed him that the Rs.2000 denomination currency would be banned in December of this year and that some wealthy individuals wanted to exchange their black money. He was told he would receive Rs.5 lakh for every Rs.1 lakh in legal tender. Reddy met them with Rs 5 lakh near the Shamirpet ORR in the first week of September.
“Azeez dropped Anwar, Nagaraju, and Rajesh at a secluded spot on the outskirts of Keesara before he arrived. Nagaraju was told to dress up as a police officer in uniform, while the other two wore mufti. Following their meeting with Reddy, Azeez and Subhash drove him in their car with the cash bag, pretending that the party was waiting for the black money to be exchanged.
“When they arrived at the location, Nagaraju and the other two stopped the car and pretended to be cops, and the gang abandoned Reddy and fled with the cash. Reddy, who initially avoided approaching the police because he was afraid of the consequences, finally filed a complaint on Thursday, after which the Keesara police arrested the gang.