Delhi Police seize Rs 6.6L fake notes: Have counterfeiters cracked Rs 2000?

All the counterfeit notes seized were of Rs 2000 denomination and had most of the security features of the new currency notes, including the watermark and the security thread.

delhi Updated: Nov 18, 2017 10:57 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Police,Counterfeit currency,Rs 2000 bank note
The new Rs 2000 banknotes include several features to indicate its authenticity including a number panel with numerals growing from small to big on top left and bottom right sides and the Ashoka Pillar emblem.(Mint File Photo)

The Delhi Police on Thursday seized Rs 6.6 lakh in counterfeit currency notes, their largest seizure since last November’s demonetisation move, and claimed that the inflow of “high quality” fake Rs 2,000 notes has picked up in recent months.

Last month, Delhi police arrested two men with counterfeit currency worth Rs 5.98 lakh.

Last Tuesday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested four persons from Howrah railway station and recovered Rs 9.1 lakh fake currency from them.

Kashid, a 54-year-old man arrested with the counterfeit currency on Thursday, claims to have already supplied fake notes worth Rs 2 crore in the last four-five months since he resumed business after demonetisation, PK Kushwah, DCP (special cell), said on Friday. The two men arrested last month in Delhi are his associates.

All the counterfeit notes seized were of Rs 2000 denomination and had most of the security features of the new currency notes, including the watermark and the security thread.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation last November, he listed eliminating counterfeit currency as one of the objectives of the exercise. The new Rs 2,000 note pushed into the market after demonetisation was believed to be difficult to replicate.

In April, the government informed Parliament in April that a total of Rs 5.6 crore, all in Rs fake 2,000 notes, had been seized by different law-enforcement agencies across India after demonetisation.

The Delhi Police said the notes seized near Anand Vihar bus terminal on Thursday were “very similar in appearance and texture” to genuine Indian currency. “The manufacturers used paper of fine quality and texture and security features were inserted. The fake currencies were not easily detectable,” Kushwah said.

The obvious giveaway was that most of the counterfeit notes had the same serial numbers printed on them. “Of the 330 notes seized from us, 250 had the same serial numbers. The remaining 80 had four different serial numbers distributed among them,” said Kushwah.

Kashid reportedly told police that printing different serial numbers added to the manufacturing cost. “The accused would buy the fake currency at the rate of Rs 600 per note and sell them for Rs 900,” said Kushwah, adding that Kashid has been in this business for the last 15 years.

Delhi police refused to comment on the source of the counterfeit notes, but people familiar with the matter said these were being manufactured in Pakistan and being pushed into India through Bangladesh and Nepal. The smugglers usually prefer the porous borders between India and Bangladesh in West Bengal’s Malda district, they added.

Interestingly, Kashid is a native of Gopal Nagar in Malda, the “hub” of fake notes. “Many other persons in his village as well as in other parts of Malda are into this business. They contacts across the border throw bundles of fake notes over the wire fencing,” said Kushwah.

A Reserve Bank of India spokesperson declined comment.

First Published: Nov 17, 2017 23:07 IST