Eluru, West Godavari: Police have busted a fake currency racket run by two prison friends at Palakollu in West Godavari district. Five persons involved in printing and circulating fake currency were arrested.

One of the accused Y Venkatesh was lodged in Rajahmundry Central Prison in a theft case. In the prison, he met G Venkataramana of Kadiyam Savaram village, who was arrested in fake currency case. Later both became fast friends.

Soon after, Venkataramana was released on bail, he got Venkatesh out of the jail too. Since Venkataramana had got the equipment to print fake currency notes, he trained Venkatesh for backup.

Both were exchanging fake notes for genuine notes at the rate of Rs 30,000 per Rs 1, 00,000.

However, given the COVID-19 lockdown, the crime syndicate collapsed as there were no customers. Desperate to restart the operation, Venkataramana approached his friend Anjaneya Murthy to exchange fake currency.

Anjaneya Murthy roped in Gubbala Venkata Satya Naren, a scribe, and Borra Manikanta. However, police got a whiff and arrested all the five persons red-handed while exchanging fake currency at Palakollu railway station.

Police recovered fake currency worth Rs 7.85 lakh besides one printer and three laptops from their possession.

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