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Ramakanta Biswas

The Special Task Force (STF) of the Odisha Crime Branch conducted a raid and seized fake currency notes with a face value of more than Rs 15 lakh from Jujumura in Sambalpur district on Wednesday. Two inter-state criminals have been arrested in this connection. 

Two inter-state criminals have been arrested in this connection. The accused duo has been identified as Podar Prasad Sahu and Janmejay Bag. The cops have also seized two laptops, a color printer and new unused SIM cards from their possession. 

The accused were printing the counterfeit notes inside a 'Jan Seva' Kendra at Adapada village. The STF, just five days back, had busted a similar racket of printing fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) in Bargarh district and seized fake currency notes of Rs 14 lakh and other articles. At least two persons were arrested in connection with the crime. 

It is yet to be known if both the rackets are inter-linked, police said. The sharp rise in the circulation and illegal printing of the counterfeit notes has now become a matter of concern. 
According to sources, the two accused had been operating the illegal syndicate for some time and were under the scanner of the Crime Branch. However, Podar's family members claim he is innocent and has been framed. 

"He is innocent. He has been framed," claimed Podar's wife Manorama Sahu. 

Podar's family members claimed that he was a brilliant student. However, Bag misled him and used him for printing counterfeit notes. Bag is a hardcore criminal and has several cases against his name. 

"The STF should investigate properly and arrest the mastermind in this connection. A special team should be formed and bust the organised group," demanded former DGP Sanjiv Marik.

Briefing media, DSP, STF Sachidanand Rath informed, “We conducted raids at a ‘Jan Seva Kendra and detained Podar Prasad Sahu and Janmejay Sahu. We have recovered Rs 15L fake currency notes, color printer, a new SIM cards from their possession.” 

According to Crime Branch sources, illegal currency notes of various denominations with a cumulative face value of over Rs 10 crore have been confiscated in Odisha during the period of last 10 years. 

As many as 320 criminals have been arrested with more than 180 cases filed during the period so far.

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