Second fake currency note arrest in Malda in 11 days sets off alarm bells
Officials are worried because the fake notes have been seized within just three months of the Centre’s demonetisation drive, which was aimed at weeding out the fake currency in the country.cities Updated: Feb 06, 2017 14:30 IST
Police in West Bengal’s Malda, the hub of fake currency notes in the country, are a worried lot after a panchayat functionary was arrested with two forged Rs 2,000 notes on Saturday, the second such arrest in 11 days.
Digambar Mondal, a karmadhayaksha of the Congress-run Kaliachak-III panchayat samiti, was arrested by Baishnabnagar Police from 17 Mile area with two counterfeit notes with face value of Rs 2,000. The 42-year-old was remanded to four days of police custody by a district court.
On January 23, Baishnabnagar police arrested 15-year-old Jiyaul Sheikh from Bakhrabad village with a counterfeit note of Rs 2,000.
Officials are especially worried because the fake notes have been seized within just three months of the Centre’s demonetisation drive, which was aimed at weeding out the fake currency in the country. Malda accounts for about 80% of the fake currency that comes into India through Bangladesh.
The north Bengal district shares a border with Bangladesh through which fake currency is smuggled into the country. It is believed that Kaliachak and Baishnabnagar areas of Malda have a large number of couriers for carrying fake currency most of which are printed in Pakistan and routed through Bangladesh.
Police officers told Hindustan Times that the two seizures indicate that the counterfeit industry is working full steam and the situation may worsen in the coming days.
Police got a tip-off that Mondal, a resident of Charsujapur village who holds the portfolio of forest and land in Kaliachak-III panchayat samiti, smuggled in some fake currency and was trying to use them in the local market. He was kept under a close watch.
On Saturday night, he went to a local shop to purchase some goods and handed over two notes of Rs 2,000 along with those of other denomination. The shopkeeper noticed that the serial numbers of the two Rs 2000 notes were the same and informed the police.
Jiyaul Sheikh was also nabbed while buying some things from a shop using counterfeit notes.
Police have slapped charges under section 489 (B) (using as genuine, forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes), 489 (C) (possession of forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code against Mondal.
“We are interrogating the person in police custody. We are sending the seized notes for further test to check their quality,” Malda superintendent of police Arnab Ghosh said.
Saiyatul Islam, the Congress sabhapati of Kaliachak-III panchayat samiti, however, claimed that Mondal has been framed.