Value of fake notes seized in State nears Rs one-crore mark

Porous entry points in TN, M'lore render south India vulnerable to menace

Value of fake notes seized in State nears Rs one-crore mark

The value of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) seized by security agencies and recovered by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the first six months of 2013 in Karnataka has almost touched the Rs one-crore mark or Rs 96,76,250 to be exact.

The total number of notes is at 15,401.

For the whole of 2012, the value stood at Rs 1.67 crore, indicating a slight increase in the first half of this year, sources in the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the State police said.

According to information provided by the State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB), 945 fake notes were seized by various security agencies in the State from January 1 to June 29 this year, valuing about Rs 4.76 lakh, while the number of notes recovered through RBI agencies stands at 14,456, worth more than Rs 92 lakh.

During the same period, the value of fake notes in Kerala stood at Rs 26.56 lakh, while the same stands at Rs 1.35 crore, Rs 1.38 crore and Rs 2.98 crore, in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, respectively. The total value of fake notes from across India stands at Rs 16.29 crore, about 50 per cent of what it was in the whole of 2012 (Rs 32.63 crore).

In 2012, the value of fake notes in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra stood at Rs 45.98 lakh, Rs 2.96 crore, Rs 2.73 crore and Rs 4.74 crore, respectively.

Coordinated investigation

A senior official in the intelligence department stressed the need for a coordinated investigation involving other agencies, including the CID, RBI, DRI, Customs and even the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to track the trail of such currency entering the State.

“We have found that south India has become a major transit hub for such notes,” the officer said.

In all, from January 2010 to June 2013, the southern states and Maharashtra have tracked fake notes worth Rs 40.98 crore, out of Rs 106.15 crore from all over India, roughly about 40 per cent. (see box). Of this, the FICN value in Karnataka is Rs 4.56 crore.

A senior official from DRI said that while most of these notes originated in Pakistan, the investigating agencies now also find notes originating from Bangladesh. “Earlier, Bangladesh was merely a transit hub.

Couriers would take the Nepal or Bangladesh route to flush fake notes into India,” he said. “We, however, do not find that some notes could be originating from Bangladesh, indicating that network like the way it is there is in Pakistan.”

Besides, given that India has considerably strengthened its porous borders with Bangladesh, Nepal, and especially on the Western front, couriers had begun using the Gulf route, trying to smuggle in such notes through airports and ports. But South India is gaining prominence as there are several porous entry points, along Tamil Nadu, Mangalore, among others.

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