The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday said detection of counterfeit notes in 2016-17 was 20.4 per cent higher than the previous year. Barring Rs 100 notes, the detection of counterfeit notes increased across denominations — notably Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 — during 2016-17, the RBI said in its Annual Report. The value of fake demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was around Rs 41 crore. According to the RBI, 2,56,324 Rs 1,000 notes valued at Rs 25.63 crore were detected during FY17. It reported that 3,17,567 Rs 500 notes valued at Rs 15.87 crore were detected. Significantly, 638 counterfeit notes of new Rs 2,000 notes and 199 old Rs 500 notes (MG series) were also detected.
“During 2016-17, 7,62,072 pieces of counterfeit notes were detected in the banking system, of which 95.7 per cent were detected by commercial banks. During the year, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, designed a uniform proforma for collection of fake Indian currency note (FICN) data. It also developed a web-enabled software for uploading data on FICN detected by banks and law enforcement agencies.
During 2016-17, the number of suspicious transaction reports filed by banks and other financial intermediaries with the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central government witnessed a quantum jump, it said. Banks reported 3,61,214 suspicious transactions during the year as against 61,361 transactions in the previous year, a rise of 488 per cent in a year. Financial institutions reported 94,836 suspicious transactions as against 40,333 transactions last year, the RBI said. The trail of deposits of demonetised notes into bank accounts may provide valuable information to the revenue authorities in tracing unaccounted money, it said.
The Reserve Bank is facilitating implementation of the system in collaboration with NCRB. “The trail of deposits of SBNs into bank accounts may provide valuable information to the revenue authorities in tracing unaccounted money,” it said.
Coincident with the announcement of the withdrawal of legal tender status of specified bank notes (SBNs) on November 8, 2016, the RBI launched a nation-wide exercise to estimate the density of fake notes detected during the counting and verification of notes. “A two-stage cluster sampling technique was adopted to obtain the best estimate of FICNs detected at currency chests (CCs) and at the RBI in the post-demonetisation period, given the constraints, including time lags inherent in the verification processes,” the RBI said.