When Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced his much-debated decision of demonetizing higher denomination notes, one of the reasons behind the move he cited was to check the inflow of fake currency notes in India. But recent seizures and arrests made by law enforcement agencies have indicated that it will take time to resolve the issue. According to the Indian Express report, National Investigation Agency (NIA) had high-quality fake Indian currency notes (FICN) of Rs 2,000 denomination and subsequent forensic report said that “notes were printed using stamp paper from Bangladesh.”
“Until now, the notes were being printed in Pakistan and smuggled into India through Bangladesh. This is a new trend, where FICN racketeers, with possible help from Pakistan, have started printing high-value Indian currency in Bangladesh. The matter will be taken up with authorities in Dhaka, a senior government official said,” the report says. A top government source told The Indian Express, “The forensic analysis was conducted by experts at the Currency Note Press in Nashik. It was found that the printing is of high quality and 10 features of a genuine note have been replicated.”
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According to the BSF, the total value of FICN seized in the first two months of 2017 stood at Rs 2,96,000. Last year, it was Rs 1,47,70,500, while 19 smugglers were nabbed by the force.
Last year it was decided that anti-terror probe agency NIA would train nearly 200 Bangladeshi police officials in detecting Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) after it emerged that the neighbouring country was used for pumping in nearly 80 per cent of counterfeit notes into India. The NIA, in collaboration with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Department of Economic Affairs and Home Ministry, will train the officers from Bangladesh which would include real time sharing of intelligence
As there was no official information about the value or number of FICN in circulation in the Indian market, NIA had asked a Kolkata-based institute to carry out a study of the menace in 2012-13
According to the study, FICN of face value of Rs 70,000 crore was pumped in by Pakistani spy agency ISI and underworld gangs operating from outside India. Only one-third of these could be detected by law enforcement agencies
While the study had concluded that at any given point of time FICN of the face value of 4,000 crore was changing hands, NIA sources said the trend has been declining after Bangladesh extended cooperation
A report had said 80 per cent of the FICN was routed to India through Bangladesh and, therefore, the need was felt to crack down on gangs engaged in the activity in that country, particularly at its airport and ports
Bangladesh has already assured India of full cooperation in tackling the menace of FICN, which is also being used for funding human and drug trafficking, and other nefarious activities in that country
NIA sources said Bangladesh has told India that it has put in place “stringent” measures for checking influx and circulation of fake notes that were also “adversely affecting” its economy
FICN was being used there for financing human and drug trafficking, besides several other anti-social activities including cattle smuggling. These were seen as active threats to Bangladesh’s economy
Sources said India will also provide note sorting machines with facility to detect fake currency at international airports, integrated crossing points, immigration points, banks and financial institutions in Bangladesh
India has also assured Bangladesh that it will help in setting up a Forensic Science Laboratory for examining fake notes and maintaining a digital depository of forensic reports.
(With agency inputs)