Foreign crime syndicates work overtime to print counterfeit Rs2000 notes

NewDelhi,Nov16:The coming few weeks, it seems, will be crucial for the Rs 2,000 note. Intelligence sources reveal that Bangladesh-based criminal syndicates manufacturing Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) are studying “features” of this new note to create counterfeit currency.

According to a senior BSF official, a number of copies of Rs 2,000 rupee notes have been seized across the country in Bangladesh, but so far he claims such replicas are mere scanned copies. These are made out of paper instead of rag which is used to make original currency. The same material has to be used to create a high quality counterfeit.

“The recently seized Rs 2,000 notes are mere copies which have been scanned to make it look like a currency note. It will take time for FICN gangs to regroup and we are hoping to counter any such attempts of counterfeiting,” the official told DNA. He, however, added that syndicates would soon ramp up efforts to create and circulate fake currency.

So far though, security officials say they are pleased with initiatives introduced by the RBI which has made counterfeiting currency more difficult. In 2015, the RBI had introduced modifications to the now defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 note that was especially difficult for FICN syndicates to crack.

This year too, RBI modifications had sent FICN gangs operating in South Bengal, especially in Malda, into a tizzy. And now it remains to be seen how the recently issued Rs 2,000 note stands up against counterfeiting. In fact, security officials are already studying possible methods by which counterfeiters could look to copy and circulate fake currency.

“There are 16 main features of an Indian currency note, four of which are invisible to the naked eye. Till 2014, the fake notes coming out of Bangladesh were increasing in quality. The 2015 modifications by RBI however marked an end to this and the result was that most notes seized by us were of 2014 make. Furthermore, more modifications introduced in the notes issued in January this year had made it more difficult for FICN to produce a good quality counterfeit,” said an intelligence official.

The tough modifications introduced by the RBI, has ensured that security agencies so far are enjoying increased success in cracking down and seizing fake currency. According to government data, fake currency seized in South Bengal, including Malda, was a whopping Rs 1.7 crore in 2014, Rs 2.6 crore in 2015 and Rs 1.3 crore this year till October.

“Most of the seizures made by the BSF or other probe agencies such as National Investigation Agency in 2015-16 were of 2014 make and most of seizures we made showed signs that the gangs were not able to crack the new modifications. The last big haul of the 2014 make fake currency was recovered on October 22 in Kaliachawk, (Malda district, West Bengal)” the official said.

Officials also pointed out that the strict security measures introduced in the Rs 2,000 note ensures that copying and issuing such currency would require a huge network and major financial backing.

“Indian currency is made out of pure rag which is only available with sovereign governments. To copy and circulate fake currency a vast international network would be required, which can only become possible with some state backing. For example, the security threads that exists in all our currency notes today can only be accessed by a sovereign government,” said a BSF official posted along the Indo-Bangladesh border.