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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Man to be booked under strict fake currency act for smuggling counterfeit notes

The provisions under the act are invoked in hardcore smuggling cases, counterfeit currency cases and cases involving drugs

mumbai Updated: Dec 06, 2017 00:41 IST
Pratik Salunke
Pratik Salunke
Hindustan Times

The Mumbai zonal unit Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) will invoke provisions of the stringent Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA) against the accused arrested with fake currency notes in September, which was first such case in the city after demonetisation.

 In August this year, the accused, Khuddus Baig, 36, was intercepted at Mumbra where 349 counterfeit notes — also called fake Indian currency notes (FICN) — amounting to Rs6.98 lakh were found in his bag. After he was interrogated, the DRI also conducted searches in Bangalore, where fake notes worth ₹58,000 were recovered. 

 COFEPOSA allows detention of an accused for a year without trial unless the order is quashed by a court. It allows authorities to detain individuals on the apprehension of their involvement in smuggling activities. “The accused in the case is detrimental to the economic security of the nation,” said a source privy to the development. “The provisions under the act are invoked in hardcore smuggling cases, counterfeit currency cases and cases involving drugs.” 

 Investigations had revealed that Baig got the fake notes from an associate in Islampur, West Bengal. Islampur, located in West Dinajpur district, is close to the Bangladesh border. “It is suspected that the notes were printed in and smuggled from Bangladesh,” said the source. Investigations revealed that Baig has been involved in smuggling FICN since 2016, even before demonetisation. 

 The notes were of good quality and sources revealed that it will be difficult for a common man to recognise that the note is counterfeit. Baig is a supplier who purchases the notes and then circulates them,” said the source. 

 Sources revealed it takes ₹35 to ₹40 to prepare a single FICN note, which the accused would to purchase for ₹56. The agency is investigating the involvement of other persons in the case. 

 The government had said that rampant smuggling of FICN from across the border was one of the reasons why old currency notes in the denomination of ₹500 and ₹1,000 were demonetised. Post demonitisation, the Mumbai zonal unit of DRI has initiated five seizures of fake currency till now, amounting to a print value of Rs34.91 lakhs in total.

First Published: Dec 06, 2017 00:41 IST