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Indian Fake Currency Notes (IFCN) and ISI

 
 
By J K Verma Published : November 2009
 
 
 
     
New Delhi. The Madhya Pradesh Police recently arrested two gangsters Ateeq Ahmed and Rajesh Gupta, both Nepalese nationals, along with fake currency notes of INR 500 denomination of Indian currency. In the course of interrogation, both alleged that Nepal’s former crown prince Paras was in nexus with Pakistan-based Indian smuggler and terror operator Dawood Ibrahim as well as the Pakistani Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) operatives. Paras, in his greed for money, helps ISI operatives in clearing IFCN which reaches Kathmandu from Pakistan. There, the ISI country chief operating from the Pakistani Embassy supervises the operation of receiving and sending the IFCN to various cities in India. The currency is sold at half the value of denomination and gradually, as it passes hands through various distributors and ultimately the gullible public, profit margins are shared.
 

Pakistan itself has two advantages: It makes money by producing and selling counterfeit currency, and in the process, it harms the Indian economy as part of its mad terror and proxy war against India.

It may be recalled that a few years back, a First Secretary of the Pakistani Embassy in Kathmandu was sent back to country because of his clear-cut involvement in sending the counterfeit currency to India.

India and Nepal share a long porous border and no visa is required. The movement on their borders is not only unrestricted but very heavy too because of the traditionally good relations. ISI takes advantage of this, and has recruited both Indian and Nepalese criminals as couriers who smuggle IFCN to India. The problem is multiplied as admittedly there is rampant corruption on both the sides of the border.

According to Indian intelligence estimates, billions of dollars worth of counterfeit Indian currency, printed in the official Pakistani presses, is in circulation in India. One strong piece of evidence is from international reports which say that Pakistan buys far more currency paper and special inks than it needs annually to print its own currency.

According to intelligence reports, initially the fake Indian currency was printed in only one or two Pakistan government presses. However, as ISI has been able to successfully enlarge its network in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Dubai (UAE) and even in India itself with the connivance of gangsters like Dawood Ibrahim, the fake Indian currency is now being printed at several government-controlled presses in Karachi, Multan, Quetta, Lahore and Peshawar.

There are unconfirmed allegations that ISI has also been able to print some fake Indian currency in Bangladesh under its direct supervision.

The Pakistan government imports the special paper and ink from UK, Sweden and Switzerland. As the material is much more than its own legitimate requirement, the excess bulk is diverted to ISI, which is regarded more as an international terror and sabotage outfit now than a normal security agency which should be concerned with safeguarding its own country.

ISI’s penetration in India can be gauged from the fact that the its Pakistan-made fake Indian currency was found from the chests of a nationalized bank in India’s Uttar Pradesh state.

It may be noted that both the ISI and the Pakistan Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) are operated by the Pakistani Defence Ministry. PIA also has some hotels as part of its international chain.

ISI mostly uses PIA for transporting the IFCN to various countries. As ISI is part of Pakistan’s persistent and main ruling party, the Pakistani Army, it occasionally uses the privileged diplomatic channels like the diplomatic personnel and bags also to spread its nefarious activities.

The ISI has raised influential persons in these countries and in turn these high-ranking persons have recruited middle level couriers. Each middle level courier has few low level carriers who take the IFCN to India. In India these low level carriers give IFCN to their contacts in almost all the big cities of India. These middle level couriers and low level carriers meet their contacts as per their date, place and time. This is the reason that when these low level couriers/carriers are caught the Indian security agencies fail to lay hands on big fish.

Modus Operandi of ISI

The modus operandi of ISI is simple. It prints notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 denominations. As ISI uses the Pakistan government’s state apparatus, the quality of the counterfeit Indian currency is good and it is difficult for an average person to identify the Made-in-Pakistan-and- Counterfeit difference.

The main agents, who buy the counterfeits at 50 per cent of the face value from ISI-Dawood Ibrahim network, distribute the currency in small bundles through their layered networks. Many Indians returning home on Transfer of Residence (TR) from Dubai have been caught with this counterfeit currency hidden in televisions and electronics goods.

The same way, a large number of people coming from Nepal and Bangladesh are lured to bring IFCN to India. If a carrier has a large sum, then a trusted ISI escorts him clandestinely. The carrier is not given any address or contact number of the Indian contact. On the other hand, its India-based agent would have the mobile number and address of the carrier, and if the carrier is able to slip in successfully, he is contacted and the counterfeit collected from him for further distribution.

If the India-based agent has an iota of suspicion that the courier is likely to be caught, then the operation is just dropped so that no contacts can be established in the chain.

In Bangladesh, it is reported that Malda and Murshidabad have become the main transit points for circulating IFCN to various cities in India. There is a long porous border with heavy legal and illegal traffic between both the countries. The inhabitants on both sides of the border are poor and law enforcing agencies are dishonest; hence the illegal trafficking of IFCN faces virtually no difficulty.

Adverse Impact of IFCN on Indian Economy

The smuggling of a large amount of IFCN is simply economic terrorism. The funds generated so are additionally used to finance the terrorist activities in India. According to an unconfirmed report, ISI has an annual budget of Rs 1800 crore per year on organizing terrorist activities in India. It generates most of this requirement itself by printing and circulating fake currency, and smuggling of drugs to and through India for European and Amercian desitnations.

It may be recalled, and significantly, that the biggest drug haul in Dubai in the early 1980s was caught from the rice consignment sent by the Pakistan government-owned Rice Export Council of Pakistan (RECP). That clearly indicates that ISI has no restrictions on using whatever official and unofficial channel that it wants to use.

Measures Adopted by India

The Indian Home Minister recently discussed the issue of smuggling of IFCN through Nepal to India with the Nepalese Prime Minister. The Home Secretaries of both India and Nepal have also agreed to chalk out a plan to curb the smuggling of IFCN from Nepal to India.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokesperson told in a press conference sometime back that a special team has been constituted wi th of f i c e r s f rom CBI and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) etc. to ascertain up to what level security templates have been compromised.

The Cabinet Secretary has also chaired a high level meeting of various security agencies to adopt a comprehensive policy to stop the smuggling of IFCN in India at the earliest. Besides taking action within the country, it has also been decided to get in touch with European countries from where Pakistan is importing special paper and ink much more than its legitimate requirement.

India is also considering major changes in its currency notes to make them more difficult to copy and also to spread an awareness campaign in the public to help identify the Madein- Pakistan counterfeit Indian notes.

A proposal to award exemplary punishment to currency smugglers is also being considered.

 
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