As the border forces of both India and Bangladesh deliberate methods of curbing this racket, an incident involving a 15-year-old boy carrying fake currency worth Rs 2 lakh was reported from West Bengal. The boy was arrested from the Kaliachak in Malda after he was found in possession of fake currency.
This is the second incident that has been reported in which juveniles have been roped in to smuggle fake currency. While there was one such instance in Bihar last month, this time around the seizure indicated that smugglers have been using the juveniles more regularly.
Malda in West Bengal has become a hub for fake currency. There are key operatives in Malda who have been facilitating the circulation of fake currency. It has become a landing point and these persons source fake currency from Bangladesh.
Pakistan has been sending in the fake currency it makes to Bangladesh which in turn is routed into India. After the gates for these smugglers along the Kashmir border was shut down by Indian security agencies, they have more often than not taken the Bangladesh route.
Why are juveniles being used?
Juveniles are roped in because they have the protection of the law. The amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act states that anyone in the group of 16 and 18 will be tried as adults. The same was passed in the Lok Sabha last month and needs to be debated in the Rajya Sabha before the same is implemented.
The law in respect of juveniles does not prescribe punishment. Instead it prescribes reformation and depending on the nature of the offence, a reformation period in a remand home could range between 1 month to a maximum of three years.
Juveniles apart from having the protection of the law also do not raise the heat. They are hardly suspected which makes them the best carriers of fake currency. However roping in boys in the age group of 15 is the safest bet as they are aware of what they doing.
Deliberations by the Border forces:
India and Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding to prevent the smuggling and circulation of Fake Indian Currency notes. The four day conference of the Border forces of India and Bangladesh is deliberating ways of combating this menace. There are various aspects that would be discussed and the first step would be to better sharing of information so that the smugglers could be prevented.
Recent incidents of fake Indian currency smuggling would show that most of it has come in from the Bangladesh border. The landing point has been West Bengal's Malda from where it is distributed to the rest of the country.
There have been at least 12 major busts by the police and various other agencies in the past four months where large consignments of fake Indian currency have been seized. The two border forces would discuss ways of sharing information and also how to prevent and combat the problem. The meet would also go further to deliberate on issues such as cattle and gold smuggling as well.