Close to seven years after demonetisation, top-drawer counterfeit currency of high denominations is making its way back to India. In the recent past, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered several cases from Gujarat, Maharashtra and other states pertaining to fake currency.

Ever since 2019, the NIA has registered 26 cases of counterfeit currency, most of them with a Pakistan connection. The cumulative face value of the currency seized is Rs 20.1 crore, with around 60-70% notes in the denomination of Rs 2,000.

From 2019 onwards, 14, 8, 2, and 2 cases were recorded each year, with recovery of Rs 2 crore, Rs 50 lakh, Rs 7.8 crore, and Rs 13 lakh in face value, respectively.

The NIA has found that the flow of counterfeit currency in India is emanating from Pakistan. An established route is being used through Nepal and Pakistan to send these high-quality fake notes to India. These notes are allegedly printed in Pakistan and most of the features of Indian currency are adapted, due to which the common man finds it difficult to distinguish between fake and original notes.

“The only reason they aren’t legal tender is because they have been printed in Pakistan,” said NIA sources.

Officials have confirmed the role of ISI and D-company in the organised crime. The modus operandi adopted by them is to send high-denomination currency in bulk and ensure that they are circulated in the market in a single piece. Once these notes are smuggled into India, the handlers here are informed about the future plan through WhatsApp calls, said sources.

During this investigation, it has been revealed that the notes are being sent to India by an unknown person referred to as “uncle”, who communicates with the accused from abroad.

The person here delivers the fake currency worth about Rs 3 lakh in exchange for original Indian currency notes of Rs. 1.80 lakh.

This case was originally registered at Mumbai’s Naupada police station in 2021 and three people were arrested. Following this, earlier this month searches were conducted at six locations in the city, in which there were seizures of sharp- edged weapons, digital devices, and incriminating documents.

Thane crime branch had set a trap on November 17, 2021, near Ganesh cinema on a tip that a person would deliver fake currency notes. A man named Riyaz Abdul Rahiman Shikilkar was arrested after he was found in possession of two bundles of 149 Rs 2,000 notes with total value of Rs 2.99 lakh. The WhatsApp number used to contact him was from Malaysia.

2023-05-30T19:45:25Z dg43tfdfdgfd