The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has set up a high level team to investigate the leak of an ultra-secret template for Indian currency that led to near-perfect fakes worth hundreds of crores (billions) of rupees into circulation.
The team will draw information from experts in other enforcement authorities and forensic sciences.
“The CBI team includes investigators drawn from the agency, the Reserve Bank of India, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and forensic experts,” said CBI spokesperson Harsh Bhal.
The team has been formed to ascertain how and at what level the design got “compromised”, Bhal said.
Hindustan Times had reported on Wednesday that the 2005 designs of currency notes, particularly Rs 1,000, Rs 500 and Rs 100 were “compromised”, leading to circulation of fake notes that look like the real ones, the agency’s director Ashwani Kumar said.
The CBI director had said that core ingredients such as ink and paper that go into the making of Indian currency notes, are currently imported from foreign countries.
As a result of this, “there is a greater chance of the technology getting compromised,” he said, adding that “this is the biggest problem”.
The CBI has been probing the seizure of fakes worth Rs 4.02 crore (40.20 million) in July 2008 from the currency chest of the State Bank of India branch in Siddharthangar, Uttar Pradesh.
Its investigations had revealed that the fakes had even bore authentic series codes, which were a combination of alphabets and numerals that indicated the extent of the counterfeiters’ knowledge of the security features.