Fake currency producers have field day
Fake `2,000 bills are entering India through Bangladesh, three months after the newly minted banknote was introduced as an upshot of the Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation drive to fight corruption, counterfeiting and terrorist funding.
But multiple confiscations of fake `2,000 notes over the past three weeks have undermined the shock recall of 500- and 1,000-rupee notes last November, wiping out 86% of the money in circulation in a cash-driven economy. The demonetisation exercise has been called a watershed for a country saddled with counterfeiters pushing millions of fake notes into the Indian economy from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Terrorists and government hostile to India use the bogus cash to weaken the economy. The latest attempts to restart the vicious cycle after the ban have set off alarm bells in the security establishment.
On February 14, security forces foiled an attempt to smuggle a consignment on the Indo-Bangladesh border. This was the biggest in a series of attempts over a short span of time. A BSF patrol seized a bundle of 100 counterfeit notes that was thrown across the fence for “miscreants” waiting on the Indian side. The criminals escaped, leaving behind the bundle. “Our enemies across the border will not stop bothering us. They will continue to poison our economy … pushing fake notes is the best method to do it. It was just a matter of time that they copied the new notes,” said Arun Chaudhary, former Intelligence Bureau special director and former chief of Sashastra Seema Bal that guards the Indo-Nepal border.