Police seize one million fake rupees

Dubai Police foil an attempt to sell one million counterfeit Indian rupees potentially worth about Dh81,000.

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DUBAI // Dubai Police have foiled an attempt to sell one million counterfeit Indian rupees potentially worth about Dh81,000. The financial crime department received a tip on April 20 about a man who was trying to unload fake rupees, and was looking for buyers. "After verifying the authenticity of the information, we formed an investigation team with the aim of arresting the person red-handed," said Major Salah Osaiba, the head of the department.

One of the police sources was able to establish contact with the suspect and convince him that he was interested in buying the fake notes for Dh30,000 (US$8,100). They agreed to meet in Naif at 8pm the same evening. Following the handover of the money, police raided the meeting place and arrested the suspect, identified as NA. He was carrying the dirhams given to him by police as well as about 999,500 in fake Indian rupees.

Police found an additional 50,000 Indian rupees when searching the suspect's residency. Testing revealed they also were fake, Major Osaiba said. The suspect confessed to trying to sell the counterfeit cash and was charged with money forgery. His case was referred to the public prosecution, police said. Brig Khalil al Mansouri, the head of the Criminal Investigation Department, said such financial crimes were difficult to uncover without help from residents.

Also last month, Dubai Police arrested a four-member gang from Africa at a flat and a hotel over a money-doubling scheme, following a report from one of the alleged victims, said Major Osaiba. A raid on the hotel in Naif turned up thousands in dirhams, US dollars and euros, along with suitcases filled with black-coated papers, chemicals, cotton and powder, materials that are commonly used in such cases, he said.

In money-doubling, victims pay a lesser sum for what they are told is real money temporarily covered in black ink. Lt General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the chief of Dubai Police, said the victims of financial crimes were usually driven by greed, which made them an easy target for the perpetrators. @Email:wissa@thenational.ae