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Fake currency worth Rs 400 crore circulating in open market

The startling revelation has come after a study report on fake Indian currency note (FICN) issues, including estimation of counterfeit notes in circulation, that has been submitted by Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata to the Finance Ministry recently.

The study reveals that fake notes worth over Rs 22.63 lakh had been seized between 2013 to 2015. 

Citing data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the report said, “In 2015 alone, fake notes to the tune of Rs 7,05,571 have been seized, which include 1,78,022 fake notes of Rs 1,000 denomination, 2,99,524 notes of Rs 500 denomination, 2,17,189 currencies of Rs 100 denomination and about 11,000 notes of Rs 50 denomination.” 

The report prepared by a committee headed by Shilabhadra Banerjee, was formed to suggest foolproof security features for currency notes. Red-flagging the areas of concern, the report said that the value of counterfeit notes remained constant for the last 4 years.

According to sources, the fake notes have been routed from Pakistan. Surprisingly, apart from India, Pakistan routed notes have also been seized from Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Holland, the source said.

Commenting on the issue, a senior official said, “People usually dispose off fake notes with great alacrity. Ideally, they should intimate the nearest police station giving details on where they got it, but that’s not happening.”

“There are several instances when people get fake notes from ATMs. In such cases, the respective banks should be informed about it immediately. In general, masses believe that they would be penalised if they get caught with any fake note, which is not true,” the official said, adding that action would be initiated only after a person tries to circulate the fake note in the open market even after knowing that the currency is duplicate.

On exchanging that fake note with original one, the official said, “It cannot be done as it will encourage miscreants to engage in such activities. Educating more of people on fake notes can help in curbing the menace.”
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