Govt likely to introduce new security features to check FICN

Govt likely to introduce new security features to check FICN

Official sources said one of the steps is increasing the production of currency paper, most of which is currently being imported.

Though the Security paper mill, Hoshangabad, does produce the currency paper (228 MT in 2008), the total production is very low as compared to the need, they said, adding steps are being taken to increase the production of the Ingalio Ink in the country.
While both paper and ink is mostly imported, central security agencies had raised concerns about this practice, as the seized FICN had almost the similar feel and look as original notes.

Sources said the security features introduced in 2005 in the currency notes have been compromised, a case which the CBI is investigating.
The RBI is in the process of introducing new fool-proof security features in the notes, they added.

While CBI is the nodal agency for FICN, DRI has been made the chief intelligence agency to check the spread of the menace.
The new measures will come in place after the Centre formed a high level committee to monitor and draw a comprehensive strategy to combat fake Indian currency notes.

The government has also approved setting up of a special cell within the CBI to deal with crimes relating to FICN and has sanctioned 25 posts for the same.
Central security agencies in their internal reports say the seized fake notes are only just a portion of the total FICN in circulation.

It is believed that fake currency is being printed in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and in some of the state owned presses in Muner.
The DRI had recently arrested a Pakistani woman who had flown in from Dubai with FICN having a face value of Rs 18 lakh.

The agency, which considers it a big catch is questioning the Pakistani woman to find out who all are involved in the racket.
Wanted global terrorist Wood Ibrahim is one of the major operatives of the FICN racket, which is being supported by a neighbouring country's intelligence agency, the sources said.

While earlier, FICN was used to pay terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir initially, it is now being pumped into the country to make a dent on the country's economy.
Investigations have revealed that FICN is coming from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Dubai and Kulalumpur (Malaysia).

Sources said certain operatives in cities like Bangkok (Thailand) too have come under the scanner.

On the diplomatic front, the government is taking up the issue of FICN with European countries, including Britain, which are exporting ink and currency paper to Pakistan, from where most of the counterfeits originate, they said.

The CBI is also creating a national data bank of fake currencies, sources said, which they believe will help trace the origin of FICN and the areas in which it was circulated.