KATHMANDU, May 24: Police on Friday arrested Nepal’s Yunus Ansari and three Pakistani nationals on the charge of smuggling worth millions of counterfeit Indian currency from the Tribhuwan International Airport.
Senior Superintendent of Police Sandip Bhandari told Republica Online that they have seized the fake Indian currency from Ansari and his team which was brought from Pakistan via Doha in two briefcases on a Qatar Airways flight.
“So far, we have counted fake Indian currencies worth Rs 30 million and the counting is underway,” Bhandari said.
Who is Yunus Ansari?
Ansari, 49, is a former Nepali media entrepreneur. Ansari was detained with his bodyguard and two Pakistani aides in possession of a large amount of fake Indian currency and brown heroin in 2010. Subsequently, during a raid at his home, police recovered fake Indian money worth IRs 2.54 million.
In 2011, Yunus survived a murder attempt made against him while he was serving time in Central Jail at Sundhara in the capital. An Indian man named Jasjeet Singh had shot at Yunus on 10 March 2011.
Singh was later linked with the same group of gangsters that had assassinated media entrepreneur Jamim Shah in a broad daylight in 2010. Later in 2013, Yunus was released.
According to the police, Yunus has been engaged in fake currency smuggling for more than 15 years.
Yunus was the chairman of National Television when it came into operation in 2009. But, the channel stopped its broadcast in a very short period.
Ansari debuted in Nepal’s media industry in mid-2000 when he teamed up with Bhaskar Rajkarnikar, former chairman of Advertising Agencies Association of Nepal, to start a 24-hour news channel that was later named Avenues TV.
Like his financial sources, details about his investments, his associations and whereabouts prior to the media venture remained sketchy. But a police investigation launched to uncover his shady past indicates that he visited Pakistan many times and even stayed there for lengthy periods.
Ansari was born in Bara district. Before being arrested in 2011, he possessed three premises in Kathmandu Valley -- at Bluebird Mall, Lagankhel and Chabahil. He walked around with six security guards, most of them former army personnel. He once chaired the National Wrestling Association.