HomeEconomyLargest Ever Consignment of Counterfeit Indian Currency Confiscated in Bangladesh

Largest Ever Consignment of Counterfeit Indian Currency Confiscated in Bangladesh

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Seizure of pretend Indian forex notes on the border district of Dhubri in Assam, India, on February 4, 2022.

Credit: Border Security Force, India

Networks for the provision and distribution of pretend Indian forex notes (FICN) seem to have proliferated in Bangladesh over the previous 12 months, the end result of a protracted sequence of developments originating greater than twenty years in the past.

While some cities in Bangladesh have been long-known to be hubs of the counterfeit forex racket, the current spurt within the illicit import of FICN into India via the border was a reason for concern that has additionally set alarm bells ringing in a number of departments of the Indian authorities, an investigating official informed The Diplomat.

On February 9, police in Dhaka seized numerous gunny luggage crammed with a colossal amount of FICN and arrested some individuals suspected to have been concerned within the racket. An official informed the media that it was the biggest ever consignment of pretend Indian forex to have been confiscated in Bangladesh.

Last 12 months in November, police officials have been quoted by the media in Dhaka as saying {that a} Lahore-based syndicate in Pakistan prints FICN, that are then transported to Bangladesh through Sri Lanka in containers loaded with marble stones. The consignments are hidden in “special chambers” on the houses of syndicate members earlier than being smuggled into India.

The FICN growth in Bangladesh was unearthed months earlier following a probe by an Indian safety company, ensuing within the compilation of a report with intensive particulars of the facilities and other people concerned within the provide of the pretend forex notes from Bangladesh to India.

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The investigation confirmed the continuation of the phenomenon that started many years in the past: FICN are printed in Pakistan after which illicitly imported into India both immediately via the border with Nepal and Bangladesh or via different routes linking Dubai, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Colombo.

The investigation revealed that FICN are additionally being printed in denominations of (Indian) Rs 2,000 ($27), Rs 500, and Rs 200 in and across the vegetable wholesale market space of Kalyanpur in Dhaka.  These notes are ferried to the border at Kurigram and exported to India in small portions via a number of routes in Assam and West Bengal. Sometimes, packets of forex are smuggled by girls and likewise thrown over the border fence at night time. These are collected by accomplices on the Indian facet.

Among the kingpins whose names surfaced through the probe have been Milan Sheikh and Umar Ali each of Rangpur in Bangladesh who’re staff of a transport firm named Suchana Transport in Kurigram. The primary distributors of FICN are Mohammad Rafiqul Islam, Mukul Sheikh, Asraf Ali, and Milan Sheikh. All of them function from the border districts of Rangpur and Kurigram.

The kingpins within the Indian border district of Dhubri in Assam have been recognized as Ashraf Ali, Abdul Gafur, and Jahangir Alom from one other border district, South Salmara. The title of a functionary of a distinguished political get together in Assam additionally figures within the report as being one of many beneficiaries of the smuggling of FICN.

In Dhubri, seizure of consignments by the Border Security Force and arrests of brokers engaged within the smuggling are usually not an unusual phenomenon.

“Four cases have been registered in Dhubri over the past seven months. It appears that there are many gangs that operate in the Indian border districts who are not organized and they receive small consignments which are either thrown over the fence or imported through other ways,” Dhubri Superintendent of Police Abhijit Gurav informed The Diplomat.

Officials who performed the probe have been of the agency view that it’s the printing of FICN at a number of authorities printing presses in Karachi, Multan, Quetta, Lahore, and Peshawar in Pakistan that’s the primary cause for the abundance of Indian counterfeit forex in Bangladesh. Their probe has additionally discovered that officers on the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka have been tasked to oversee the smuggling of the counterfeit currencies to India.

These developments are a sign of the Bangladesh authorities’s failure to curb the proliferation of Indian counterfeit forex, regardless of signing a memorandum of understanding with the Indian authorities to counter the menace.

Over the previous a number of years, many establishments have been drawing consideration to the menace posed by pretend forex to the Indian economy. The matter acquired worldwide consideration in 2011 when the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report of the U.S. State Department confirmed that an growing influx of counterfeit forex produced in Pakistan was being smuggled to India and that terrorist and felony networks used this cash to finance their actions within the nation.

In 2015, one other research by the Indian Statistical Institute talked about that counterfeit forex value Rs 4 billion was in circulation in India at any given time with Rs 7 million getting into the system yearly.

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The findings of the Indian Statistical Institute appear to be at variance with the estimates of different Indian authorities departments. The authorities informed Parliament in 2014 that there are not any dependable estimate of pretend forex accessible.  Indian safety businesses are of the view that the quantum of FICN in circulation within the nation has steadily elevated through the years which might be a number of occasions greater than the estimate arrived at by the Indian Statistical Institute.

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