Faking games

The seizure of large quantities of fake Indian currency from different parts of the country in the last fortnight has again confirmed the involvement of Pakistan in producing and circulating them in the country. Seven persons were arrested in Delhi, Haryana, West Bengal and Bihar for carrying fake notes worth over Rs 1 crore. Their interrogation and forensic examination of the notes have yielded strong evidence of Pakistan’s hand in the operations. There have been indications of such involvement in the past also. But Pakistan has stoutly denied it. But it has always been known that such currency is dumped in India through routes in Nepal, Bangladesh and some Gulf countries and Pakistan’s ISI has been active in it. The aim is to destabilise the Indian economy and finance illegal activities detrimental to India’s interests, including planning and execution of terrorist activities. Therefore it is a major threat to national security also.

The seized currency point to their production in Pakistan. In fact the features of the fake currency are identical to those of Pakistani currency. Telephone conversations between Pakistanis and agents based in India, intercepted by intelligence agencies, have revealed directions to distribute the currency in India. Malaysian police have also confirmed Pakistan’s involvement as that country was also a conduit for the smuggling of fake currency. India has decided to take up the issue with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is an international body set up to curb money laundering and terror financing, with evidence. The evidence can lead to blacklisting of Pakistan as a beneficiary of aid from the World Bank and  the IMF.

It is estimated that lakhs of crores of illegal currency is circulating in the country. The seizures this year have amounted to only about Rs 10 crore. Seventy per cent of the value of fake currency is drained to the source of distribution as legal Indian currency and this is used for activities hostile to the country. While India should ensure that action is taken against Pakistan there should be greater vigil against the operations of fake currency rackets. The security features of Indian currency notes, especially those of higher denominations, should also be changed frequently to make counterfeiting impossible.

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