When you go shopping this festive season, watch out for fake currency notes.
With Eid and Ganesh utsav round the corner, to be followed by Dussehra and Diwali, people have already started shopping and spending, and it’s the perfect time to infiltrate the market with counterfeits, say the police.
“This an appropriate time to release fake currency in the market,” said Ramrao Pawar, additional commissioner of police (north region).
There have been several seizures of fake notes recently, which have prompted the police to issue an alert.
In August itself, the police arrested 10 people for circulating fake currency worth Rs 7.48 lakh in the market.
Some of the accused posed as customers trying to purchase goods.
“Some men are just given the task of circulating fake currency in small quantities posing as buyers,” said a police official, requesting anonymity. Some others were caught while attempting to deposit the currency in banks.
“It is a known fact the fake currencies are made and supplied from Pakistan. They find it easiest to send people carrying fake currency from the Bangladesh and Nepal borders as the security there is not as taut as it should be,” said a crime branch official, requesting anonymity.
Most of the counterfeit notes in circulation are so similar to the real ones, making it tough for a layperson to figure out the difference.
While some vigilant bank staffers and shopkeepers identify the fake notes and alert the police, in many cases, the notes are passed off as genuine. So, it’s important for people to learn to identify what makes a fake note a fake.
“The most important factor to curb the circulation of fake currency is awareness. People should be able to differentiate between a genuine and fake note,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime).
Roy said that as much of the fake currency is printed across the border, “we need tight security at the Bangladesh border from where the fake currency is brought in”.
He added: “Also, investigating agencies must find the key people behind a racket and crack down on them.”