November 08, 2013
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 6, 2013 | UPDATED 11:19 IST
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Indian security agencies have known it for long. Several arrested underworld and terror operatives have confirmed it repeatedly. Now the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has nailed the Pakistan government's imprint on fake Indian currency notes (FICN) pumped into the country. This proof of counterfeit war can't be denied or erased.
A detailed forensic analysis by the NIA has revealed that the paper used to print the counterfeit rupee notes is an excellent match with the legal tender of Pakistan. The NIA's explosive conclusion was recently revealed to Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance by the country's top intelligence agencies-the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), the Intelligence Bureau (IB), and the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
That FICN is an undesirable import from Pakistan is known, but NIA has belled the cat in its lair. Thesecurity features imitated to print fake notes can be duplicated by highly sophisticated machines that only the Pakistan government owns, the committee was told.
A written compilation of the oral submissions by the intelligence agencies stated: "Forensic opinion has revealed that the notes have been printed on highly sophisticated machines involving huge capital investment. The pulp found to be 100 per cent rag in the FICN which is normally used in making currency papers. The perfection of window and watermark formulation indicates the manufacture of FICN paper on regular currency making machines which can only be owned by a country or state.
"Most of the pivotal parameters of the paper like GSM (paper density measured in grammes per square metre), Wax Pick Quotient, and Poly Vinyl Alcohol and PH Values were found matching with the legal tender of Pakistan."
The papers also reveal that the involvement of any country other than Pakistan in printing FICN has not been found so far.
Intelligence agencies are worried that despite some traditional routes of FICN smuggling being neutralised, the flow of counterfeit currency has not slowed down.
The parliamentary panel was informed that the volume of FICN smuggled into India in 2010 was between Rs.1,500 and Rs.1,700 crore which went up to Rs.2,500 crore in 2012 - a rise of 55 per cent. This year, fake currency worth Rs.1,200 crore has already infected the Indian economy till July. The paper also identifies Pakistan-based syndicates involved in pushing counterfeit currency notes into India.
Prominent among them are Iqbal Kana, Subha Bhai, Aslam Choudhary, Sheikh Safi and Sikander. These syndicates operate from the UAE, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and China.
"Gangsters of D-Company like Aftab Batki and Haji Abdullah have also come to notice for being actively involved in FICN trade," the note reads. The parliamentarians were told that the involvement of Pakistan in the manufacture and supply of FICN has confirmed its use in terror financing activity in India.
It's no secret that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) pushes in counterfeit currency notes into India to destabilize the country's economy as well as to finance terror operations.
The document says that several terrorists owing allegiance to groups such the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT), al Badr, HuJI and Dawood Ibrahim's D-Company were found carrying fake rupee notes at the time of their arrest. Mumbai terror attack accused David Headley was also believed to have used counterfeit rupees worth about Rs.2 lakh on one of his trips to India. Earlier this year, arrested LeT operative Abdul Karim Tunda had told the Delhi Police that the ISI runs the entire network of FICN being smuggled into India.
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Tunda told his interrogators that Iqbal Kana, the biggest dealer of FICN who is still active in Pakistan, got the notes through an ISI Brigadier and then pushed them into India via Bangladesh and Nepal.
Tunda, who was arrested in August, told the interrogators that his work was to collect, disburse and push FICN through his network into India and that each consignment contained counterfeits worth crores of rupees. He also revealed that FICN is supplied not only to Bangladesh and India but also countries such as Holland, Singapore and the UAE.
MAIL TODAY had reported in April that alarmed over a massive seizure of FICN and explosives in Bangladesh, the home ministry had decided to send an NIA team there to gather more information.
Authorities in Bangladesh had busted a terror module with the arrest of 16 people, including four Pakistanis, on March 30 and had confiscated counterfeit currency notes worth Rs.1.3 crore.
Indian agencies were startled because the amount was much more than what was recovered from either the Bangladesh or the Pakistan border in the last few years.
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A file photo of Uttar Pradesh police officers with seized fake currency notes.
In their submission to the Parliament committee, the security officials also informed the members about their counter intelligence operations in this area. The members were informed that R&AW had disrupted 16 modules in the past three years and made a large seizure of FICN in the neighbouring country. In fact, R&AW was able to seize FICN worth Rs.62 crore from abroad between 2006 and 2013 with close cooperation from the IB and DRI.
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According to government estimates, counterfeit banknotes in circulation in the country constitute about 0.21 per cent of the total currency notes in circulation.
On paper, it might look negligible but such volumes are enough to finance almost all terror and sabotage operations in India.
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Posted by Naxal Watch at 7:27 PM