'Wrong to say fake notes circulated only in capital'

S N Shrivastava, special commissioner of police (special cell), elaborates on fake Indian currency notes seized by police, and action taken to bust the nexus between Pakistani operatives and racketeers circulating such notes in the capital.

Excerpts from an interview with Vishnu Sukumaran:

What are the patterns that police have observed over the years while probing cases of counterfeit notes?

We have found two types of fake notes being circulated — high-quality and low-quality. Our probe reveals that most of the notes recovered are of high-quality, which contain security features similar to genuine ones. Such notes have security features like watermark, security thread and paper quality used in them makes it difficult to be detected. The agencies concerned suspect that these notes originated from Pakistan, and are produced with assistance from their government. But we don’t have specific proof to link the two. On the other hand, low-quality notes are not supplied in large consignment and are easily detectable. Local gangs are believed to be behind production of low-quality notes.

What are the traditional methods that operators of fake notes use for circulation?

The most traditional method is of using local markets near India-Pakistan borders in Jammu and Kashmir. Particularly through the Line of Control trade conducted between businessmen from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and those from Jammu and Kashmir. There is a market at Muzaffarabad in PoK where cash is not used, but goods are exchanged for deals. Otherwise, they are smuggled into the country from border areas in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan. We have also found that notes are taken from Pakistan to Bangladesh and Nepal, and smuggled into the country from low-security border areas in Bihar and West Bengal. But due to intense scrutiny in recent years, racketeers have started innovative methods of smuggling from South East Asian countries.

For what purpose are these fake notes being circulated in Delhi?

It will be wrong to say that these notes are only circulated in Delhi. According to data available with us, such notes are sent across the country. Being the capital, incidents are highlighted here.

The notes are usually taken to Uttar Pradesh-based gangs, which distribute them on a commission basis. We have been successful in busting some rackets through specific inputs. A majority of fake notes are seized at banks and airports, due to which our probe gets bound. We have provided strict orders to banks and airport security personnel for early and easy detection of fake notes. It has also come to light that fictitious cash is also used by terrorist organisations to fund their activities.

With a surge in fake notes recovered by Delhi Police last year, what do you think will be a solution for the menace?

We are worried and concerned about circulation of fake currency notes as we have been facing this problem for many years now. We plan to stamp down heavily on those who are behind circulation and punish traffickers severely.

The agencies concerned are also trying to find out ways and means through which the menace could be tackled. As far as Delhi Police are concerned, we have been working on specific inputs and hope to bust racketeers on the basis of intelligence gathered.

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