The growing number of fake Indian currency notes seized in the city during the last four years indicates a growing menace. From Rs62 lakh in 2009, fake currency worth Rs88 lakh was seized in 2012. And till June this year, Rs40 lakh has been seized.
While several agencies including the Mumbai police, National Investigation Agency (NIA), Anti-Terrorism Squad, Intelligence Bureau and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have been working against counterfeit currency, the presence of masterminds operating within and outside India has made their task difficult.
The agencies have their work reviewed by ministry of finance, ministry of home affairs and a nodal group set up at the Centre.
The city has seen many such cases over the years.
Detailed questioning of those arrested has revealed that various routes and methods are used by gangs pumping fake currency into the city, and the involvement of members of the underworld, various terrorist organisations, and even the role of ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency.
In 2011, nine people of African origin were arrested by the Mumbai police in fake currency cases.
However, because of the alleged involvement of elements from across the border, only mere carriers — who are not directly connected with the gang — get arrested and masterminds remain free to operate.
In a bid to make the laws more stringent, officials of the Mumbai police said the union government has made amendments in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967, and now production or smuggling or circulation of fake currency has been declared a ‘terrorist act’.
Sources say stringent punishment could act as a deterrent. Also, a special fake currency co-ordination group has been formed in the ministry of home affairs to share intelligence with different security agencies of state and Centre.