Millennium Post

Fake rupee note seizure in Switzerland plunges to just three in a year

Berne/New Delhi: Seizure of fake Indian currency in Switzerland, for long perceived an alleged haven for black money, has come down sharply to just three in 2017 after a huge four-fold surge in the previous year.

According to the latest annual data released by the Swiss Federal Office of Police (Fedpol), just two fake Rs 100 notes and one Rs 500 banknote was seized during 2017.

This followed the fake Indian notes being the third most seized counterfeit foreign currency in Switzerland after euro and the US dollar during 2016.

The fake currencies seized during 2016 were in the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 -- both of which were withdrawn by the Indian government from the list of legal tenders towards the end of that year.

So far, there have been no seizure of any counterfeit Rs 2,000 note, which were introduced as part of the ambitious demonetisation drive to check the menace of fake notes and the black money problem.

According to the Fedpol data, as many as 1,437 fake Rs 1,000 notes were seized in Switzerland during 2016, while there were also five counterfeit Rs 500 notes.

This marked a huge surge from 342 fake Indian currency notes seized by Swiss authorities during 2015 -- five were counterfeits of Rs 500 notes, 336 for Rs 1,000 and one for Rs 100.

Over the years, counterfeits have been found in Switzerland mostly for Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, while there have been some instances for other denominations such as Rs 10 and Rs 100 notes as well.

As per the latest Fedpol data, the number of counterfeit local currency, Swiss franc, seized during 2017 was 1,990 -- down from 2,370 in 2016.

Among foreign currencies, the maximum amount of counterfeits was found in case of Euro at 3,826 during 2017 -- though sharply down from 5,379 in the previous year.

In case of the US dollar, the number has increased to 1,976 from 1,443. The fake Japanese yen notes seized during 2017 was also high at 2,500.

The number of counterfeit British pound found during 2017 was 88, up from 65 in the previous year.

An analysis of the counterfeit statistics released by the Fedpol over the years shows that the maximum number of fake Indian currency was seized during the year 2012 when it stood at 2,624, but fell sharply to 403 in the subsequent year 2013 and even further to just 181 in 2014.

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