SINCE NOVEMBER 8 last year, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, fake Rs 2,000 notes with a face value of around Rs 1.22 crore have been seized across the state by agencies such as the Kolkata Police, Border Security Force (BSF) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
While the figure looks encouraging in the Centre’s fight to clamp down on the fake currency market, new fake notes have also entered the system. However, officials claimed demonetisation has been effective, as the new notes are inferior in quality and thus, easy to trace.
So far, the Kolkata Police has seized the maximum number of fake notes, with a face value of Rs 65 lakh, said Joint CP (Crime) and Additional CP (V) Vishal Garg. It is followed by the BSF (Rs 52.56 lakh) and DRI (Rs 4.78 lakh).
Most of the seizures made by the Kolkata Police was in the Port area of the city, according to officials. In March, five persons were arrested from Port area after police seized Rs 56.7 in Rs 2,000 notes at one go.
After demonetisation, on February 14, the BSF made its first seizure of fake notes with face value of Rs 6,000 from Malda — its lowest seizure till date. The same month, it seized another Rs 3.2 lakh in fake notes. In April, the figure touched Rs 18.9 lakh, followed by Rs 6.94 lakh in June. Between August and September, fake notes with face value of Rs 7.4 lakh were recovered.
Two days ago, the BSF seized fake notes with a face value of over Rs 9.7 lakh at Kamat Gopalgunj in Malda.
When contacted, BSF IG P S R Anjaneyulu said: “The fake notes that we have seized are inferior when compared to the original ones. Malda remains the epicentre of the fake currency market due to its geographical location. But demonetisation has helped curb the fake currency market to a large extent as the counterfeiters are not a match for the original notes.”
The DRI’s Kolkata unit, meanwhile, has seized fake notes with a face value of Rs 4.80 lakh since demonetisation, said officials. On November 3, it had seized fake notes with a face value of Rs 3.96 lakh from Charianantpur near the Indo-Bangladesh border in Malda.
“The fake notes were smuggled into India from Bangladesh in two plastic packets. It was recovered from the possession of Asikul Sekh, a resident of Charianantpur,” said an official.
Since demonetisation, this has been the second biggest seizure in eastern India by DRI. In April, it had seized fake notes with a face value of Rs 82,000 at Guwahati in Assam.
“Since the counterfeiters took time to enter the market, less number of fake notes have been seized this time when compared to previous years,” said an official.
Seizures made over 12 months
* Kolkata Police: Rs 65 lakh
* Border Security Force: Rs 52.56 lakh
* Directorate of Revenue Intelligence: Rs 4.78 lakh