3,692 fake notes of Rs 2,000 seized since demonetisation

Counterfeiters need little time in copying and the new Rs 2,000 notes introduced soon after demonetisation last November are no different — authorities have so far seized 3,692 such fake notes.

State police, RBI, NIA and BSF have seized these fake notes with a face value of Rs 73.84 lakh in 42 cases where there are around 70 accused.

Gujarat leads the pack in seizures of fake Rs 2,000 notes between November 9 last year, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, and March 7 this year, followed by Delhi and Karnataka.

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Police and banks in Gujarat, the Prime Minister’s home state, have seized with 1,323 fake notes in three cases during this period while the national capital, Delhi, is close behind with seizure of 1,261 notes in two cases.

Karnataka is a distant third with its police detecting 266 such notes in six cases where seven persons are named as accused. In terms of cases, it has the highest number.

In his written reply in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said there have been instances where it has been found that the fake currency has been smuggled from neighbouring countries.

Whether the fake notes are of low quality, such as scanned/photocopies of genuine notes, or whether security features have been compromised, it is determined by investigation,” he said.

The new Rs 2,000 notes were introduced after Modi’s announcement on November 8, 2016 with an intent to take tackle black money, fake currency and terror funding.

According to the data provided by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), state police have seized 3,295 fake notes while banks or RBI have detected 51 such notes. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) have seized 198 notes and BSF another 148.

Among the five states that went to Assembly elections, Punjab had one case during the period in which 220 fake notes were detected while one note each was seized in Uttarakhand and Manipur. Uttar Pradesh and Goa did not have any such seizure.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Mar 15, 2017)

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