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HomeIndia2020 saw 190% rise in counterfeit notes seized, 'courtesy Malda-based syndicates'

2020 saw 190% rise in counterfeit notes seized, ‘courtesy Malda-based syndicates’

NCRB data shows a 190.5% rise in 2020 compared to 2019, most fake currency notes seized from Maharashtra while Bengal recorded most related arrests.

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New Delhi: The seizure of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) in the year 2020 saw a 190.5 per cent rise from 2019, according to data by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

A total of 8,34,947 FICN worth Rs 92 crore was seized last year as compared to 2,87,404 notes worth Rs 25 crore in 2019. Of the notes seized, the highest amount was in Maharashtra (Rs 83.6 crore worth of FICN), followed by Uttar Pradesh (Rs 3.9 crore) and West Bengal (Rs 2.4 crore).

Bengal recorded the highest number of seized demonetised Rs 500 notes (2,742 notes) followed by Uttar Pradesh (2,324). The state also recorded the highest number of arrests of alleged counterfeiters, with 111 arrests, followed by Maharashtra at 97 and Punjab at 83.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra topped the chart in terms of new Rs 500 notes seized (1,56,281 notes), followed by West Bengal (13,129) and Andhra Pradesh (11,102). The state also recorded a high of Rs 2,000 notes recovered (2,19,697 notes).

Among Union territories, Jammu & Kashmir was ahead with over Rs 12 lakh worth of counterfeit notes, followed by Delhi at Rs 4.16 lakh.

Also read: Fake banknotes seized in India doubled after demonetisation, Gujarat topped list: NCRB

Covid year led to rise in ‘collaborations’

According to sources in the investigating agencies, the counterfeit notes are being smuggled into India from Bangladesh through West Bengal’s Malda.

“After demonetisation, we saw a drop in the distribution of fake currency notes. However, smugglers took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic situation last year. A lot of syndicates started functioning together,” a source in Kolkata Police said.

“The Malda-based syndicates smuggle these fake Indian currency notes through the Indo-Bangladesh border. Operatives across states are assigned the task of distribution. Their contacts in UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and other parts of the country provide logistical support for further distribution,” a senior Delhi Police officer said.

“These notes are then used to fund guns and narcotics,” the officer added.

“Most of these rackets are run by kingpins based in Dubai and other Gulf countries. They also run other criminal rackets like auto theft gangs, narcotics smuggling etc,” the officer said.

(Edited by Manasa Mohan)

Also read: CSIR develops advanced security ink to stop counterfeiting of currency notes


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