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Ex-Minister's Son, 2 Pakistanis Among 4 Held In Currency Scam

PTI 04 Jan 2010, 12:20:30 IST
PTI

Acting on CBI's request, Nepal police have arrested the son of an influential politician in Nepal along with his two Pakistani accomplices and a bodyguard in connection with a fake Indian currency and drugs racket having links to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Yunus Ansari, son of former Nepalese minister Salim Ansari, his bodyguard and two Pakistani nationals were arrested here on Friday and Saturday.

Police first arrested the bodyguard Kashi Ram Adhikari -- who was allegedly involved in transporting the drugs and fake currency -- from a guest house in Thamel, a tourist hub here, on Friday.

Later, they arrested two Pakistani nationals, Amir alias Mohamad Iqbal and Raju alias Mohammad Saiyad, from Thamel.

Ansari was taken into custody on Saturday after the Pakistanis pointed towards him during the interrogation, according to Superintendent of Police, Ganesh Khatri Chhetri.

Police also seized 3.7 kg brown sugar and fake Indian currency notes in denominations of 5,00 and 1,000 with a face value of over 25.44 lakh from the Pakistani nationals.

A case against Ansari and the three others would be filed in the Kathmandu District Court and they been sent to the judicial custody for 10 days for investigation.

The group is also learnt to have a connection with Dawood Ibrahim, police said.

According to 'The Kathmandu Post', Nepal police arrested them following a request from CBI.

The CBI sought Ansari's arrest after two Nepalis arrested with fake notes in India in August told investigators that he was the main person behind the counterfeit currency racket.

The drugs and fake currency were brought here from Pakistan and their ultimate destination was US, police said. The plan was to send the drugs to China from Nepal and then to the US, they said.

While the drugs were seized from a guesthouse at Thamel on Friday, the fake currency was recovered from Blue Bird Hotel situated in Tripureshwor, which was used by Yunus Ansari who is also the chairman of Rastriya Janata Dal.

Police had earlier said that five people were arrested in the fake currency and drug racket, including two Nigerians.

Ansari is also Chairman of National Television channel, which is airing its programmes under trial transmission. The channel claimed that he was innocent and it was just "a foreign game plan" to defame him and shut down the channel.

Ansari's father Salim Ansari was Minister for Land Reform Management during deposed King Gyanendra's direct rule.

In the 1994 polls, Salim Ansari was elected as a candidate of the now-ruling CPN(UML). He served as Minister of Forest and Soil Conservation in the CPN(UML)'s brief rule in 1994, but when the party was divided in 1998 he joined the CPN(ML) and later became Minister of Tourism in coalition government.

When CPN(ML) and CPN(UML) reunited, Salim Ansari again became a CPN(UML) leader. However, in December 2002, he left CPN(UML) and subsequently formed the Samajbadi Party Nepal.

In July 2005, Gyanendra appointed him Minister. In 2007, Salim Ansari was arrested following Terai riots, but was freed soon apparently because of his clout. PTI