Counterfeiters fast to copy Rs 2,000 notes

The Rs 2,000 note is in existence for just about a year but counterfeiters have not lost time in faking it — police across the country have seized around 38,000 fake notes in the past one year with Gujarat topping the list.

The speed with which the fake currency racket started printing counterfeit Rs 2,000 notes could be gauged from the fact that authorities seized 3,199 such notes within 50 days of its existence — between 9 November 2016 when it was introduced and 31 December 2016.

Official statistics show that 34,728 fake notes with a face value of Rs 2,000 each was seized in the first 11 months of 2017 with Gujarat topping the list in both years.

While 6,397 notes were seized in Gujarat since demonetisation was announced on 8 November 2016, the north-eastern state of Mizoram had seizure of 5,827 notes followed by Uttar Pradesh (5,243), West Bengal (2,876) and Kerala (2,648).

Karnataka also finds a spot in the top ten list with a ranking of nine. The seizure was 1,831 such notes, including 255 in the first 50 days of the introduction of the notes.

Officials said the seized fake notes of Rs 2,000 and other denominations are of “low quality, such as scanned or photocopies of genuine notes”.

Rs 2,000 fake note seizure between Nov 9, 2016 and Nov 30, 2017

STATES

No of Rs 2,000 fake notes

Face Value

Gujarat

6,397

Rs 1.27 crore

Mizoram

5,827

Rs 1.16 crore

Uttar Pradesh

5,243

Rs 1.04 crore

West Bengal

2,876

Rs 57.52 lakh

Kerala

2,648

Rs 52.96 lakh

Telangana

2,313

Rs 42.26 lakh

Punjab

2,086

Rs 41.72 lakh

Delhi

1,918

Rs 38.36 lakh

Karnataka

1,831

Rs 36.62 lakh

Tamil Nadu

1,826

Rs 36.52 lakh

All India

37,927

Rs 7.58 crore

Another interesting point is the continuing seizure of Rs 1,000 notes, which were rendered illegal after demonetisation. This year 66,284 notes of Rs 1,000 denomination has been seized with Delhi (40,363) and Gujarat (22,515) topping the list.

Overall, police forces seized 2.66 lakh fake notes of various denominations, which has a face value of 18.80 crore, this year till November.

The statistics for the first 11 months itself has crossed the 2016 figures on face value. While the number of notes seized was higher at 2.90 lakh for the whole of 2016, the face value was lesser at Rs 16.55 crore.

However, the number of cases have come down to 658 this year from 1,217 in 2016. Senior officials claim that it was due to strong vigilance set up that act as a deterrent.

They said strengthening the security at international borders using new surveillance technology, deploying additional manpower for round the clock surveillance, establishing observations posts along the international border and erection of border fencing and intensive patrolling have also helped in tackling the menace.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Dec 31, 2017)

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