A Special Operation Team busted a fake currency racket and arrested six members of the gang in Ibrahimpatnam, around 35 km from Hyderabad, on Saturday. The sleuths seized original notes worth Rs 50,000, two photocopy machines, and 105 fake notes, including the new Rs 2,000 currency, to the tune of Rs 2,22,310. Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M Bhagwat told PTI that two other members of the gang are absconding.

The arrests came after the police team acted on a tip-off and raided the house of one the accused in Ibrahimpatnam, reported PTI. Bhagwat said that they were “discussing plans of circulating the fake notes in the market” when the team conducted the raid and “took the accused persons into custody”.

According to Bhagwat, the gang had been printing fake notes of smaller denomination ever since the Centre announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. “After the release of the new Rs 2,000 note, they successfully printed it and were waiting for an opportunity to circulate in the market,” said the police commissioner.

The first case of a counterfeit Rs 2,000 note was reported on November 13 when a vegetable vendor in Chikmagaluru, Karnataka, was handed over a fake Rs 2,000 note. On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the Centre had decided to demonetise the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to weed out corruption and black money from the market. New Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes were then issued.