Fine quality of fake Indian currency rings alarm

March 2nd, 2008 - 7:28 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) The fine quality of fake currency notes in circulation in the country, especially the notes of higher denominations, has flummoxed law enforcement agencies and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). “The fake currency circulating in the market is coming in containers and by over land and sea routes. The fine quality indicates that counterfeits have been printed on the paper on which (real) currency notes are printed,” a source with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told IANS.

“Expressing concern over this, the CBI has recommended indigenisation of the paper on which currency notes are printed as also the indigenisation of the printing ink and machinery,” the CBI source said.

The investigating agency says that annual seizures of counterfeit notes, worth a staggering Rs.100 million, are just the “tip of the iceberg”.

It has been indicated that profit is not the only motive behind the spread of fake currency.

“The motive behind the fake currency racket is the destabilisation of the economy and causing panic,” said CBI Director Vijay Shanker at a workshop organised by the agency recently to deal with the spread of fake currency.

Twenty-two state police nodal officers, central security agencies, central economic intelligence, enforcement agencies and Reserve Bank of India officials attended the workshop.

“We find that increased enforcement efforts in one geographical area have resulted in shifting of (fake currency) operations into another area. The recent shifting of operations of Dubai-based gangs from western India to south India and shifting of transhipment points to Sri Lanka and Malaysia are some examples,” Shanker said.

The participating officers are said to have suggested that the RBI increase the security features of Indian currency notes from time to time to check counterfeiting.

“The workshop recommended the setting up of special courts for speedy trials pertaining to fake Indian currency notes,” the CBI official said.

The finance ministry has set up a committee of representatives from the Department of Economic Affairs, Directorate of Enforcement, National Security Council, the home ministry and the Intelligence Bureau for curbing counterfeiting of currency, but more needs to be done, officials said.

Estimates put the number of fake currency notes in circulation in India at 61,000 million pieces, worth over Rs.1 trillion, till the year 2000.

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