A special NIA court in Mumbai is on Wednesday is likely to pronounce one of its first verdicts over supply and circulation of fake Indian currency notes (FICN). This will be first case in the country which will be tried after smuggling and circulation of FICN was brought under the ambit of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act by the government in 2012. The evidence presented by NIA through forensic and scientific analysis has also nailed the lies of Pakistan which had for long denied its role in trying to destabilise Indian economy by pumping fake notes.
After an amendment in UAPA, the “Willful circulation of such high quality FICN printed abroad and smuggled into the country is with the sole intention to threaten, deplete, erode and undermine the economic security and sovereignty of India and hence is tantamount to a terrorist act under Section 15 of UAPA.” If the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is able to secure a conviction in the case registered in 2009 at Mumbai, it will not only help India to pressure Pakistan to identify and stop supply of FICN but also put the neighbouring country on backfoot in international arena.
The NIA after taking over the probe in 2009 from Maharashtra ATS has filed a chargesheet against six persons, namely Abdul Shaikh, Mohammed Aizul, Ravi Dhiren Gosh, Nooruddin Bari, Mohammed Samad and Aizul Shaikh, for possessing and circulating FICN. The special court at Mumbai framed charges against the accused persons in December 2012 and now the trial is nearing conclusion. According to the NIA, the scientific and forensic analysis of fake currency has telltale signs of currency being printed in Pakistan.
The agency carried out samples from various seizures made by different agencies. The samples were tested at various laboratories and experts concluded that many covert features of genuine Indian currency were successfully imitated. The forensic tests on FICN says that these features can be achieved only through sophisticated machinery which is sold only to sovereign governments, as revealed in the examination of experts of the Bank Notes Press, Mysore.
“It can be concluded that the notes have been printed on highly sophisticated machines which a common man cannot acquire, since such machines involve huge capital investment. The analysis further said that the pulp has been found to be 100 per cent rag in the FICN, which is normally used in making currency papers. The perfection of window and watermarks formation indicates the manufacture of FICN paper on a regular currency-making machine, which can only be owned by a country/state. Tests found the FICN had an imitation of a latent image, the vertical band that shows the denominational value in numerals, and which is visible only when held at eye level,” says the NIA report.
Experts checked the legal tenders of neighbouring countries and found only those in Pakistan have a latent image. Also, the numbers on each notes right panel were similar to those on Pakistan’s legal tenders. There were other similarities between the FICN and Pakistan’s legal tenders. The same pH value for chemical nature, the same density in g/sqm, and clear signs of having been printed on the same Simultan dry offset press.
The chargesheet filed by NIA also said that fake notes have also been recovered at international airports from diplomatic bags containers in which countries send material to missions abroad. At international airports in Bangladesh and Nepal, such fake currency notes have been seized from diplomatic bags from Pakistan. It has also been observed that Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Singapore have been used for shipment of high-quality FICN.