Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) totaling R59 crore was seized in 2012 according to latest figures released by enforcement agencies and banking channels to HT.
This is a sharp increase from a total FICN seizure of R26.5 crore in 2011, heightening speculation that the racket is fast gaining ground across the country.
Officials admit that the seizures are just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ with huge amounts circulating undetected. Many seizures are not even reported.
Interestingly, among the states, national capital Delhi leads the tally with more than Rs. 7 crore FICN being seized last year.
“Delhi is a transit point for good quality FICN which is mainly coming in from Nepal and Bangladesh but mostly originate in Pakistani cities like Lahore, Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar. Delhi also offers ease in transactions because of the huge amount of monetary transactions taking place besides according more anonymity,” a senior economic intelligence agency official said.
Not surprisingly, out of the Rs. 58 crore counterfeit currency, about 36% or R21 crore have been seized from abroad, mainly Bangladesh and Nepal.
The FICN is being systematically injected into India through Nepal and Bangladesh and then deposited in Indian banks in the border districts along with Indian currency before being transported across the country mainly through trains for circulation.
Sources confirmed to HT that many counterfeiters are using the same paper and ink as the one used by the government.