New Delhi, Feb 23: India's economic growth is crucial and one way that the Pakistanis have found to hamper this growth is to circulate fake currency into the Indian markets.
While the issue of fake currency continues to pose a headache, an incident in which currency was printed with Arabic inscriptions on the security thread appears to be almost forgotten.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had conducted an inquiry into an incident in which it was found that currency notes were being printed with Arabic inscriptions on the security thread. This incident took place at the Hoshangabad mill of the Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Limited.
A security thread in a currency is crucial as it distinguishes between a genuine and fake note. It was found during the inquiry that a security threat with an Arabic inscription was being used while printing the notes.
What the inquiry report states?
On November 8, 2012 for the first time a note with a defective security thread was detected. It came to light when one of the employees stated that the thread was constantly breaking while being inserted into the printing machine.
When this incident was reported, an inquiry was initiated. The security thread that is used in genuine notes would have the inscription, RBI Bharat in Hindi and English. However it was found that in these threads there were Arabic inscriptions.
How did these threads reach the mill?
In the month of April 2012, there were 430 kilograms of security thread supplied to the mint by Aristocraft International Pvt. Ltd. While it had been found that the security threads were defective, the mint officials chose not to act.
Instead the inquiry shows that the officials contacted the suppliers on phone. While it was mandated on part of the mint officials to conduct a thorough inquiry into the matter and take action against the suppliers, they chose not to do so.
Out of the 430 kilograms of thread that had been supplied, 53 kilograms were found to be defective in nature. These were returned to the supplier and no inquiry was ordered.
Was it part of the counterfeiting racket?
It is clear that the fake threads were pushed into the mint as part of a major consignment. By the time the matter came to light almost 10 lakh notes had been printed with these defective security threads.
It could have well been part of an exercise by someone to embrass the government of India. The mint officials instead of acting immediately decided to suppress the incident, the inquiry report also states.
Moreover it tool almost 14 months since the date the incident came to light for someone to find out in the mint that the threads were defective in nature.
Will government act?
The government will now have to act on this matter. The ISI and its proxies work overtime to pump in fake currency into India. The RBI is working hard to ensure that the fake currency racket is stopped even as those circulating it have found new avenues to push it into India.
There are many aspects that need to be considered in this case. The vulnerability of the mints which have accepted such security threads. There appears to have been no check conducted and it appears that the perpetrators of the crime have had no problem in pushing in the fake threads. The other aspect that the government would have to look into is the attitude of the mint officials.
They ought to have exercised caution while checking the boxes that were delivered. Moreover why did it take 14 months for them to realize that there was something wrong.
Testing the waters:
The fake currency racket is a lucrative one for the ISI. It helps fund a major part of their terrorist activities against India. With the Indian government taking some steps in curbing this racket, the terror groups would try and test the waters.
Such exercises are normally undertaken to test the presence of mind of the officials and also to find out how secure the mints are. Such incidents going unnoticed only provide fodder for terror groups to whole heartedly circulate fake currency into the Indian market.