Indo-US talks to focus on steps to check counterfeit currency

India will pick up expertise from the United States in curbing counterfeit currency during the internal security talks to be held this month.

Besides, the Indian delegation will also seek Obama administration’s help in strengthening the intelligence hardware, which is a continuously evolving process to fortify the security matrix.

A delegation of officials from the Union Home Ministry, National Investigation Agency (NIA) and intelligence agencies will soon fly to the US to take forward their talks on homeland security. The visit has been delayed in the aftermath of super storm “Sandy”.

Government sources said, the delegation would try to find out how the FBI and the CIA have put in place a system that helps them track and modify security features every time they came across fake dollars.

What has amazed officials of the NIA, the nodal agency for probing fake Indian currency notes (FICN), is the US’s capability of physically archiving seized counterfeit dollar.

Though police and central investigating agencies seize FICN, it becomes mere evidence in criminal cases and eventually gets destroyed after reaching finality. The delegation will assess whether the technology is feasible to be tailor made for India’s requirement. The American government is trying to simplify their laws so that the technology can be passed over to India easily.

One of the conditions demanding access to the use of equipment at the user country is not acceptable to the Indian government, sources said.

Government estimate is that around Rs 300 crore FICN is pumped into the Indian market by Pakistan every year to destabilise the economy and fund espionage and terror activities.

The mammoth problem is being handled at two levels. Constantly increasing security features in the currency notes and enhancing forensic and investigation tools for identifying the brains behind the low cost but high yielding covert operation of Pakistan, said government sources.

The Centre is moving towards creating a centralised intelligence database on FICN. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-IND) has been tasked to share FICN linked information with investigation and intelligence agencies, including RAW.

The RBI has told banks to inform them of every FICN submitted at their branches’.  

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