Did you fall into the fake coins trap? You must have received a couple of fake coins in your wallet from auto drivers, chai wala and other vendors or kirana stores. So, this should come as good news for you. Late Monday night, the Delhi Police arrested one of the two suspected masterminds behind the racket. Both are brothers by relation, out of which one of the brothers, Sweekar Luthra, 39, has been arrested – he is accused of having minted fake coins worth crores by setting up units in Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan.
Sweekar, younger of two Luthra brothers — allegedly set up an extensive fake coin manufacturing business and pushed coins worth Rs 10-12 lakh into the Indian and foreign markets. Meanwhile, the elder brother, Upkaar Luthra, 44, is still on the run, police said.
Police in their reaction to Indian Express said that Sweekar had been using a phone number from Thailand which he obtained when he went to Thailand, so as to evade arrest. A total amount of Rs 17,390 was recovered from him in fake Rs 5 and Rs 10 denomination coins.
“In October, a racket involving counterfeit coins was busted and two racketeers, Gulshan and Sachin, were arrested. The kingpins were identified as brothers Sweekar and Upkaar,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (special cell) Sanjeev Yadav. The DCP also added, “He (Sweekar) was in a Celerio car when he was caught. He is wanted in several cases related to minting of counterfeit coins and also for allegedly murdering his partner in Bihar.”
To evade the police, the duo kept on changing their locations and sometimes spent the night in the car. They would regularly change cars, and not reveal their hideout to even their associates.
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The racket has been going on for the past two decades. As per what Sweekar revealed to the police, his elder brother got an idea to enter the fake coin business when he came in contact with Gulshan Gambhir from Dehradun in the year 1997. Upkaar then established a unit in Nangli Sakrawati and started producing fake Rs 5 coins.
Then in 1999, Upkaar was arrested at Connaught Place, but he did not reveal his brother, Sweekar’s name. Soon after his release, Upkaar established another unit, before being arrested again.
Police said that every time Upkaar would be released from jail, he along with his younger brother would establish a new unit. Similarly, in 2011, Sweekar was arrested, but after being released, got into the business yet again.
A monetary dispute had also led to murder of one of their associates, Satish, in Bihar. Also, one of Sweekar’s partners Ramesh Verma, was allegedly shot dead in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur in 2015, police said.