The clinching evidence of involvement of Pakistani state-actors in circulating fake Indian currency notes (FICNs) came from the way notes were numbered and it helped the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to convince a Mumbai court to sentence six persons to life imprisonment for circulating FICNs in the country, NIA investigators told HT.
According to government estimates, in the period between 2009 and 2013, Pakistan pumped in FICNs worth around Rs 10000 crore here.
“The expert committee constituted by the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) opined that the numbering box (where numbers of notes printed) in the FICNs recovered by investigators was unique as it was manufactured by only two companies – ‘Atlantic 2 Asia’ and ‘Leibenger’ and a special printing machine called ‘Numerata’ is used to print to the numbers.
The experts said Pakistan was also using same numbering box in its currency notes with similar fonts also Numerata is a very costly machine which be afforded by only sovereign states only,” said an official of the NIA requesting anonymity.
Expert committee also said the presence of See Through Registration features, quality of the printing of the FICN which is almost same to the genuine Indian Currency note and cannot be detected with the naked eye, presence of security thread which appears to the inserted at the time of manufacturing, use of numbering box in printing the numbering of the FICNs pointed only one direction- Pakistan.
“For the first time in any case, the accused charged only of circulating FICNs have been given life imprisonment. Though, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has now been amended to add the circulation of FICNs as an offence, but when the NIA filed charges in the present case, the act didn’t have FICN circulation as offence. But still the NIA managed to convince that circulation of FICN is a terrorist act and secured conviction in the case,” said the official.
The intelligence agencies had been getting regular inputs that Pakistan was using its Quetta-based government press to print high-quality FICNs and now the NIA has managed to prove its involvement conclusively.