Kannur: The Valapattanam Police in Kannur district on Thursday arrested a 34-year-old West Bengal native for allegedly duping several people by claiming to provide a higher exchange rate for currency notes.
The police suspect, the accused, Ashik Khan of North 24 Parganas district, is a member of a racket.
The arrest was made based on a complaint filed by a native of Mayyil in Kannur who was cheated of Rs 7 lakh.
A special team led by Valapattanam Inspector MT John took the accused into custody from Shoranur in Palakkad. Four of his associates managed to escape.
Valapattanam Sub Inspector Unnikrishnan P, who is investigating the case, said they suspect the involvement of five persons in the racket that operates illegal foreign currency exchange.
SI Unnikrishnan said that “their modus operandi is that the gang members approach businessmen and other individuals claiming to have a large quantity of UAE Dirham that they offer to exchange for Indian currency at a lower price”.
“The gang will give some original currency of Dirham at low price in the initial stages from which their clients make good profit in the open market. The clients would buy more by spending lakhs, but at this stage they cheat the people either by giving fake currency or using other means,” said the investigating officer.
“The Mayyil native arranged Rs 7 lakh and met the gang member Ashik Khan. He met him alone and received a bag in exchange for the money. When he tried to check the cash in the bag, the accused left the spot quickly. The complainant found a few currency notes and the rest were pieces of white paper,” SI Unnikrishnan said.
During the probe, the police learned that the racket had duped many in various districts. Similar complaints were filed at other stations in Kannur district. “Efforts are on to trace other members of the gang,” the SI said. The accused was produced before a court and remanded.