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How ZEE News reporter stumbled on horde of stamps, currencies
Vijay Singh | December 02, 2003 03:18 IST
Last Updated: December 02, 2003 18:00 IST
November 26. Yogesh Khare was an unhappy man.
A Mumbai police team had raided a house in Nashik and claimed to have seized fake stamps worth Rs 72lakh. Everything happened in his hometown, but the ZEE News reporter got to know of it only through television reports.
Determined to make amends, he went to the house that was searched and began talking to people living nearby.
They could not tell him much about Prasoon Agarwal alias Abhay Bansal, who was arrested in connection the seizure but some did mention that he owned another premise in the town.
He was not forthcoming with any information. So Khare spoke to people living in the vicinity.
Most said they knew little about the house, its owner or its occupants though some did mention that people came to the house at odd hours.
This prompted Khare to persist with his queries.
After that he again approached the watchman. After much persuasion, the latter agreed to let them enter the premises.
Considering that the watchman's permission did not amount to much (in legal terms), Khare decided it would be better to avoid drawing attention while he examined the house, which is just a few metres from that of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal who also holds the home portfolio.
So, on December 1, much before the sun rose when few people dare to step outside and brave the cold, Khare and a cameraman reached the house.
Since the watchman did not have the key to the locked main door, the duo entered through a window.
He came across some cartons in a room. On breaking open one, he came across some stamps. Breaking open another, he came across more stamps.
Convinced there was something amiss, he opened a few more cartons and found stamps galore and also currency, of various countries, including India.
He also came across some computers, printers and machinery but could not make out if the stamps and currencies were fakes.
However, he was convinced that he had stumbled upon a major dump and slowly became aware of the immense danger that he and his colleague might be in. But overcoming their apprehension, they shot some footage in the house till 9am and then slipped out to break the story.
Later in the day, a team of the Nashik police, led by Commissioner P T Lohar raided the house and seized the stamps and currencies. Mediapersons are now barred from visiting the place.However, the story does not end here. Khare now fears for his safety and has gone into hiding.
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