Bengal, which has already earned the disrepute of being the principal entry point for counterfeit Indian currencies, has become more vulnerable to this problem with the counterfeiters identifying new entry points to hoodwink the security establishment in the bordering districts of the state.
Besides the traditional entry points in Malda and Murshidabad, of late the counterfeiters are increasingly using Nadia, which also shares a border with Bangladesh.
That is not all. Another route for bringing in counterfeit notes is from Nepal and Bhutan through the bordering districts in north Bengal, especially Cooch Behar.
In light of these developments, the Union home ministry’s department of border management has recently cautioned the state home department and advised it to ensure better coordination between the state’s own security and intelligence agencies and Border Security Force (BSF).
In the note to the state home department, the Union home ministry has mentioned that apart from the counterfeiters who are well known to the police, many of the locals in the bordering districts of Nadia, Murshidabad and Malda are getting involved in the process of bringing fake currency to the Indian side.
As per central intelligence inputs, the locals in these three districts often go to areas beyond the boundary to the other side for conducting farm work for a specific period of time everyday.
During that period, the counterfeiters contact them and send the fake notes to the Indian side with them.
In case of north Bengal, the fake currency, however, originates in Bangladesh but they are pushed into India through Nepal and Bhutan using the porous borders in the districts sharing a border with these two countries.
So far as the north Bengal is concerned, as per central caution, Cooch Behar has become especially vulnerable as the work of bringing the counterfeit notes to this region is handled by a new extremist group, Muslim Security Force, which operates both in Bengal and Assam.
The central agency has also cautioned that Munnai market in Gosaigaon region in Assam, which is very close to Cooch Behar, is the principal point of receiving the fake notes from Bangladeshi agents.
In the districts along the Indo-Bangladesh border, the central agencies believe, extremist group Indian Mujahideen is mainly involved in the process of bringing in counterfeit notes.
As per records of the state government, in the first six months of the current calendar year, the police have already seized fake notes worth around R30 lakh from different parts of Bengal.