While announcing demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes and the issuance of Rs. 2000 notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 last year said that the move was meant to crack down on counterfeit cash. The PM cited that terrorism was being funded from across the border using fake currencies.
However, a latest report suggests that it took only two months since the PM’s big announcement for the Pakistan-based counterfeiters to come out with the fake versions of India’s new Rs. 2000 notes and to pump it into the Indian markets.
Citing official sources, The Indian Express reported that the recent seizures and arrests by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Border Security Force (BSF) have proved that Pakistan-made new fake notes are smuggled to India via India-Bangladesh border.
The report says that a study by investigators and experts of the seized notes has revealed that at least 11 of the 17 security features in the new Rs 2,000 notes had been replicated. They included the transparent area, watermark, Ashoka Pillar emblem, the letters ‘Rs 2000’ on the left, the guarantee clause with the RBI governor’s signature and the denomination number in Devanagari on the front. Although the print and paper quality of the seized counterfeits were poor, they resembled genuine notes
According to the report, the latest seizures were made on February 8 in Murshidabad from Azizur Rahman (26), who hails from Malda in West Bengal. Rahman was carrying 40 fake notes of Rs 2,000 and he told investigators that they had been printed in Pakistan, allegedly with the help of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), and had been smuggled across the border from Bangladesh.
A day after demonetisation, union Minister Kiren Rijiju had said that the announcement would lead to closure of printing press in Pakistan, where fake Indian currency notes were printed. According to a report in the Economic Times, investigating agencies had informed the central government that two main Pakistani presses engaged in printing counterfeit Indian currency had been forced to shut shop.