The leak of an ultra-secret template for making Indian currency notes was behind the near-perfect fakes worth hundreds of crores in circulation, said the Central Bureau of Investigation, nodal agency for fighting counterfeits.
<b1>It suspects Pakistan’s involvement. “The sophistication in the manufacturing of these fake notes indicate the hand of a state actor, a neighbouring country,” CBI director Ashwani Kumar told Hindustan Times. “Our investigations have shown that the 2005 design of the Indian currency has got compromised and that’s why the fake notes are increasingly looking like the real ones.”
By design the CBI director meant details of what went into making an Indian currency note — specially of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations — the type of paper, the ink and the silvery bar running down the note on one side.
India faces a huge counterfeit problem. The value of fakes seized in 2008-9 has gone up by 183.1 per cent over 2007-8, according to figures announced by the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday.
The Intelligence Bureau, the domestic spying agency, estimated that there were Rs 1,69,000 crore (Rs 1,690 billion) worth of fakes in circulation till the middle of 2008.
The reserve bank disputes this figures.