Vijayawada: Mohammed Mahaboob Baig and Syed Imran, hailing from Karnataka, accused in circulation of fake Indian currency notes (FICN), have been convicted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court in Vijayawada.

The two have been sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment with fine of Rs 10, 000, 7 years rigorous imprisonment with fine of Rs 10,000, and 3 years rigorous imprisonment with fine of Rs 10,000 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

The judge added that these sentences would run concurrently as total imprisonment for 10 years with fine of Rs.30,000/- each. And, in default of payment of the fine amount, the accused will undergo simple imprisonment for a period of six months each for the offences committed which are punishable under various sections of the IPC.

On March 31, 2018, DRI, Regional Unit of Visakhapatnam had seized fake Indian currency notes (FICN) of face value Rs 10,20,000 in the denomination of Rs 2000 from the accused travelling in Howrah-Hyderabad East Coast Express at Visakhapatnam Railway Station. They later initiated proceedings under Section 135 of Customs Act 1962 and formally arrested both of them.

Later the NIA registered a case under sections 120B, 489B and 489C of IPC and filed a charge-sheet in the NIA Special Court.

During investigation, it was found that the accused, along with their associates, had hatched a criminal conspiracy for procuring and circulating fake notes in India.  Investigation has also revealed that the accused and their associates in Bengaluru and Malda were active in trafficking of huge quantities of fake notes since 2015 and the accused had visited Malda on many occasions and received the fake notes from their associates based there. Investigation revealed that fake notes were procured from Bangladesh via Indo-Bangladesh International border and further circulated in Karnataka and other parts of the country.