Rs 25.39-crore in fake currency notes seized in 2019

There is no rest for counterfeiters, not evening during the pandemic. And their targets remain the same — money, drugs, and alcohol.

19 Oct 2020 | By Dibyajyoti Sarma

Rs 2000 note are preferred choices

According to a report published on 1 October, four years after demonetisation, the highest number of all counterfeit notes seized last year was in the denomination of ₹2,000, according to the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) annual Crime in India report.

The data on seizures of counterfeit notes from all the states and Union territories also shows there is a surge in seizure of fake Indian currency notes in 2019 compared to 2018.

According to the NCRB, Rs 25.39-crore in fake Indian currency notes were seized in 2019, compared to Rs 17.95-crore 2018, showing an increase of 11.7%.

On 8 November 2016, when the government announced the scrapping of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, one of the reasons attributed was wiping out fake currency notes in circulation.

According to the NCRB, 90,566 pieces of fake Rs 2,000 notes were seized in 2019. The highest number of seizures was from Karnataka totalling to 23,599 pieces, followed by Gujarat 14,494 pieces and West Bengal 13,637 pieces.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Annual Report for 2019-20, released on 25 August, said the RBI presses did not print even a single ₹2,000 note last fiscal. There had been a gradual decline in pieces of ₹2,000 notes in circulation, from 3.6 billion pieces in 2017-18 to 2.73 billion pieces in 2019-20.

The NCRB report said that 71,817 pieces of fake ₹100 notes were seized last year. The biggest recoveries were made from Delhi 31,671 pieces, Gujarat 16,159 and Uttar Pradesh 6,129 pieces.

In 2019, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered 14 cases, where 13,459 pieces of Rs 2,000 counterfeit notes had been seized. It also registered eight cases to probe recovery of fake Rs 500 notes. A specialised unit to investigate fake currency notes was established in the NIA few years ago.

Though there was no definite account of the number of fake notes in circulation with the government when demonetisation was announced, a study done by the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, in 2015 said that at any given point of time Rs 400 crore worth fake currency notes were in circulation.

Counterfeit currency recovered in Cooch Behar

On 23 September, nine persons were arrested by the police and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) with a huge amount of counterfeit Indian currency notes in Cooch Behar.

According to reports, during a joint raid between the SSB and the Kotwali police station, the team noticed two sports bikes escorting a car. As the bikes and the car fled, the SSB jawans and the police chased them and near Dawaguri, intercepted the car and the bikes and detained nine persons.

The authorities recovered counterfeit Indian currency notes worth around Rs 1.3-crore and 17 gold bars were found. The notes were of Rs 2000 and Rs 500 denominations.

Counterfeit drugs seized in Prayagraj

In late September, the Uttar Pradesh police seized a huge cache of illegal and counterfeit drugs worth about Rs 1.5-crore was seized in Prayagraj.

According to reports, a joint team of police and drug inspectors arrived in front of the Modi guest house in Prayagraj to arrest the wanted criminal Anupam Goswami. The police apprehended Goswami’s brother and later seized illegal drugs worth more than Rs 1.5-crore from separate warehouses.

Action was taken against the traders under the Drug Control Act and Narcotics Act.