The economic warfare
The counterfeiters used to run their business in groups for their own profit. The concept of economic warfare was largely unknown. But Hitler’s Germany had changed the concept altogether and had successfully used counterfeiting as economic warfare against Britain by launching ‘Operation Bernhard’ – an exercise by the Nazis to forge British bank notes early in 1940.
The second phase of the operation was revived in 1942 for financing German intelligence operation much like Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) backed terror funding in India. Operation Bernhard was the start of state sponsored economic warfare which is still a threat for most of the big economies across the globe including United
States. Superdoller – high quality counterfeit USD 100 bill which was almost indistinguishable from the genuine ollers was produced allegedly by North Korea in late 1980.
with only Rs 40 Lakh including the rewards that was reportedly paid to the families of ten terrorists.
On the other hand, the operation part is equipping few thousand infiltrators with sophisticated guns, explosive and cash money. It can easily be done through generating low fund and extortion from local people.
Carrying out economic warfare by counterfeiting cannot be restricted to launch demonetisation as they only need to make a close replica of new notes to befool the general public. The 95 per cent counterfeited currency will also serve their purpose.
NIA has learnt that FICN are printed in Pakistan’s government press and from there it makes the way to India via other countries. The notes are printed in two highly secured printing presses in Malir cantonment near Karachi.
Meanwhile, the country’s intelligence agencies have seen the first time FICN being channelised from China in 2013, which raised the eyebrow of the offices in security establishment as China has never been used as FICN corridor before 2013.
Indian intelligence found that the Chinese drug cartels and Pakistani spy agency ISI had jointly worked to insert the FICN in India via Nepal from China’s Xinjiang province.
The Nepali law enforcement authority acted on the tip-off provided by the Indian intelligence, had arrested a person identified as one Ranjit Jha from Birnagar, a city on India-Nepal border on 24 June in 2013.
The person was receiving a consignment of Rs 30 Lakh in FICN which were hidden in electronic dolls, piano and a cradle imported from Hong Kong. The consignment was coming from Pakistan via Hong Kong and landed in Nepal through private airways and was set to head to Bihar’s Motihari.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had captured a consignment in courier service which was addressed to a Delhi restaurant. The investigators of DRI found Rs 30 Lakh in FICN inside the pack which sent from Xinjiang, a newspaper report said.
The Indian capital of FICN
You have to spend barely an hour to get a bunch of FICN from stationary shops or you may even place the order sitting in hotel-attendants to get hold of the things at room – getting fake currency notes are that much easy in Kaliachak – a place in West Bengal’s Malda district, considered being India’s fake currency capital.
The sleuths of investigation agencies, state police and Border Security Force (BSF) are vigilant over the areas, but still the intruders across the border from Bangladesh managed to enter with extremely high quality fake Rs 2000 notes. The police have lodged close to 200 FICN cases, arrested around 300 accused and have seized FICN around Rs 2 Crore from this small single area.
The investigators often present excuses that Malda has been a difficult district to handle with especially for its large number of underprivileged minority population. Most of these people also cross the international border to dwell in Indian territories.
“The district has got 172 Kilometre border with Bangladesh, most of which is fenced. But there are some gaps too. The nature of topography and the terrain are as such that it is easy to move across the border and disappear into the hinterland.” Former West Bengal DGP Bhupinder Singh had said in an interview.
There may be 18-20 villages alongside border where people carries thing from
BANGLADESH BORDER The nature of topography and the terrain is as such that it is easy to move across the border and disappear into the hinterland.
other side of the border. They took packets of FICN, drugs, arms to the Malda town.
NIA Inspector General Alok Mittal was also asked by the journalists about the counterfeiting rackets in Malda. He had replied that only 30-40 paisa was distributed to the carrier per FICN of Rs 100. But the rate varies time to time.
The role of D-Company in Pakistan
India’s intelligence agencies on a written compilation of an oral submission before parliament’s stnding committee on finance in 2013 had conveyed: “Forensic opinion has revealed that the notes have been printed on highly sophisticated machines involving huge capital investment. The pulp found to be 100 per cent rag in the FICN which is normally used in making currency papers. The perfection of window and watermark formulation indicates the manufacture of FICN paper on regular currency making machines which can be owned by a country or state.”
The report had further stated: “Most of the pivotal parameters of the paper like GSM (Grams per Square Meter. It allows the print buyers and print suppliers to know exactly about the quality of paper that is being ordered. The higher the GSM number, the heavier the paper), Wax Pick Quotient, Poly Vinyl Alcohol and PH Values were found matching with the legal tender of Pakistan.”
However, the intelligence report had also indicated that only Pakistan is actively involved in manufacturing FICN. Sometime their spy agency uses other country’s lands for transporting FICN to India.
The Pak-based groups are behind the whole operations. There are some prominent faces that are within the radar of Indian intelligence agencies – Subha Bhai, Aslam Choudhary, Iqbal Kana, Sheikh Safi and Sikander who operates from UAE, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and China, the report had mentioned.
The gangsters of D-Company like Aftab Batki and Haji Abdullah have actively involved in FICN trade. Lashkare-Tayyeba (LeT), al Badr, HuJI and Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company are involved in transporting FICN to India. Mumbai terror attack accused David Headley was also believed to have used counterfeit rupees worth about Rs 2 Lakh in a trip.
The silver lining
It is only the unbending attitude of the Centre against the cross-border terrorism that can somewhat solve the problem. The intelligence and law enforcement agencies are leaving no stone unturned to safeguard the border areas.
It might be a little late but India has proclaimed war against financial terrorism in a steady manner. Demonetising higher value notes is just a small step towards it which brings out the positive and aggressive attitude of Indian government against counterfeiting.
Noteban and its after effects.
Dawood Ibrahim Fake notes worth Rs 125.18 crore were seized in India between 2012-14.