RBI files complaint against banks for remitting fake notes

Seeking a thorough inquiry, RBI has accused the banks of not adequately checking the flow of such currency notes.

In a complaint to the Ulsoor Gate Police here, Poonam Chhetia, Manager, Issue Department, RBI, said various branches of leading banks, including the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Corporation Bank, Vijaya Bank, Axis Bank, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad in the State had remitted fake notes.

The banks had included 29 fake notes in their remittances to RBI between December 16 and 31, 2009. The bank branches concerned, she complained, did not initiate adequate steps for checking the flow of such notes. She also petitioned the police to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.

The Ulsoor Gate police said they had sent notices to the managers of the branches concerned and were awaiting their responses.

According to sources in the Reserve Bank, it happened because fake notes had passed over from bank branches to RBI inadvertently as the screening machines failed to detect them. They, however, couldn't pass through the rigorous process of mechanised detection at the RBI which lodged an FIR.

“We receive at least one such case every month. However, since arresting the real culprits is very difficult, we have to make do with issuing notices to the branch managers and submit a 'C' Report before the court and stop the investigation after 90 days,” police sources told Deccan Herald.

But what about the culprits who get away with their business? "If a bank submits more than two counterfeit notes in 15 days, the RBI fines it and the matter is over there itself. But the real culprits will still be at large,” they added.

There appears to be a clandestine network behind the circulation of counterfeit notes which is helped by the lack of sophisticated detectors at the banks.

“There is more to it than meets the eye. The RBI has accused the bank branches in order to complete certain formalities and this practice is being followed for quite sometime,” maintained the sources.

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