Fake note case records in Bengal for the six-month period between May and October reveal that North 24-Parganas has emerged as a close second behind Malda in the circulation of counterfeit currency. Also, the CID has detected the first counterfeit Rs 50 notes from the state in Kharibari and Danton.
Malda is recognised as the hub of counterfeit currency of the country, accounting for more than half of the fake notes that are introduced in the nation.
Different police stations in North 24-Parganas registered 31 Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) cases during the six-month window. Murshidabad police stations registered 24 cases.
Malda topped the list with 45. Burdwan was the fourth with 16 cases.
A few years ago, North 24-Parganas was not prominent on the fake note map at all. According to Reserve Bank records, 5,21,155 counterfeit notes with face value of Rs 2.16 crore were seized in 2011-12. On the basis of data obtained from different central and state agencies, RBI found that over 80% of these notes came in through Malda, Murshidabad and Nadia districts.
All these districts — Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, North 24-Parganas — share a border with Bangladesh.
HT has accessed the data prepared by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Among the findings that surprised them the most were counterfeit notes of Rs 50, the first such find in Bengal.
On May 3, the police found the first fake Rs 50 note with Merry Soren at Kharibari police station in Darjeeling district. On August 20, fake Rs 50 and Rs 100 currency notes were found at Dantan police station area in East Midnapore. Hasera Khatoon was arrested with a fake Rs 100 note and two fake Rs 50 notes.
Usually, fake currencies are found in the higher denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. One of the avowed targets of the Prime Minister was to strike at the FICN rackets by banning Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
In North 24-Parganas, FICNs were seized in areas such as Jagaddal, Belghoria, Noapara, Naihati, Basirhat, Baduria, Swarupnagar, Habra, Gaighata, Bongaon, Barasat and Baduria.
In Burdwan, FICN face value of Rs 1,81,300 have been seized from Kulti, Durgapur, Hirapur, Galsi, Jamuria, Burdwan and Asansol.
In Malda, FICN was seized mainly in the established hubs of Kaliachak, Baishnabnagar, Chanchol, Englishbazar and Malda.
Reserve Bank of India and income tax authorities have already alerted banks about the fake notes that could be deposited in banks after demonetisation.
The banks were asked to install CCTV at the cash counter to identify the persons depositing cash. The banks were also asked to install FICN scanner in the bank to identify the FICN notes.