Kozhikode: A rich NRI whose wife still has a plush job in Bahrain was arrested along with two other hardened criminals for printing counterfeit currency notes of Rs 500 and 2000 at Balussery in rural Kozhikode on December 4.
According to police and family sources, 45-year-old Rajesh Kumar was financially well off but he squandered all his money on building a posh house and spent a lot for his luxurious life.
He was arrested along with Wilbert (43) from Thengummal in Kochi's Vyttiila area and Vysakh (24) from Thanilassery in Kozhikode district.
Rajesh of Meethala Manchery was in Bahrain along with his wife and two children and returned home a few months ago. Family sources said his greed for money to splurge has landed him in trouble.
He was earlier jailed in a poaching case and in the prison he met Wilbert and Vysakh who were already behind bars for printing counterfeit notes.
The friendship grew and when Rajesh came back from Bahrain he had enough money to buy the paraphernalia needed to print fake notes. He brought his mother from the ancestral home to the new house he built to send out an impression to neighbours and villagers that no shady business is carried out on the premises.
Soon, Wilbert came to stay in the house around five months ago. According to Rajesh's elderly mother, Wilbert convinced her that he had some family property dispute and he could not stay at his house. He had also promised to pay rent to the elderly lady.
She said Wilbert used to go out on every Monday and Tuesday and return on Wednesday. Cops suspect that this was to collect material for printing the fake notes.
Two months after Wilbert started staying at Rajesh's house, Vysakh also joined. In the meantime, Rajesh picked up fights with several neighbours. A day before he was arrested, he had a tiff with people who came for an Ayyappan Vilakku nearby, says a neighbour.
Rajesh's family said his wife is employed in Bahrain and she comes from a rich family. All her money was squandered by Rajesh for constructing the new house in Balussery and he was involved in several crimes. His son and daughter are also staying in Bahrain. According to sources, his wife wanted him to stay back in Bahrain but he refused.
His mother said she had tried to stop him from going for a hunting trip in Wayanad where he was caught for killing a deer.
His mother said she could not climb stairs and she was not aware of the note printing activities happening on the first floor.
The stay of Wilbert and the frequent visits by Vysakh were were questioned by the woman but she could not stop her son.
The gang had started printing counterfeit notes of 500 and 2000 but had not distributed it in the market. Kozhikode rural district crime records bureau DySP M Subair said machines, ink and other paraphernalia were seized from the house. Police said they got information about the gang's activities from sources in the village.