New Delhi, June 25: Why do all fake currency notes come from Malda in West Bengal? The National Investigating Agency which has carried out a series of arrests in the recent past say that 90 per cent of the accused in the fake currency racket have had a link with the Malda unit which smuggles these notes.
The latest to be arrested by the NIA was an operative by the name Sonaul, a 45 year old resident of Malda district. He is being taken to Delhi on a transit remand for further investigation.
The NIA says that Malda houses one of the biggest hubs for fake currency in the country and 95 per cent of the counterfeit notes are circulated into the country from here.
Why is Malda a preferred hub?
One needs to bear in mind that the Malda hub alone has pushed Rs 1,500 crore worth of fake currency into the Indian markets in the year 2013-2014. The module was being run by a person by the name Johny Shaikh and he was primarily responsible for the entire modus operandi.
While the NIA suspects that these accused tried setting up a printing unit in Malda, it is however confirmed that all the notes that are smuggled into India land up first in Malda.
The recent arrest of another operative by the name Shahjahan indicated that all the notes were in fact pumped into Bangladesh from Pakistan and then landed up in Malda, West Bengal. He said that there were a dedicated lot of Pakistanis who had set up shop in Bangladesh and ensured that the fake notes were routed into India.
Malda is an easy landing point as it borders with Bangladesh. This is a racket that has been going on for the past four to five years now ever since the border with Pakistan became extremely difficult for these criminals to operate on. Shahjahan says that ran a module in West Bengal which arranged for the pick up of this fake currency and then he circulated it around the country.
How they circulate it?
Once the money lands in West Bengal, several youth are picked up to execute the job. Several of them land up in cities such as Mumbai or Bengaluru and first find work as construction labour. They work for sometime and then circulate the notes in installments.
They stay on in these cities for a couple of months and manage to circulate at least Rs 2 lakh worth of fake currency each, investigations have revealed. While they personally circulate some of the notes, there is also a module which buys notes from them.
The market rate in Bengaluru and Maharashtra varies. For Rs 1000 worth of fake notes, the price offered is anything between Rs 100 to Rs 200. These persons who pick up the notes have very often circulated such notes through banks. In several nationalized banks the teller very often does not check the notes if it is a busy day. This acts as an advantage to those wanting to deposit the fake notes in the banks.
NIA officers say that they do not even rule out the possibility of some bank officers being hand in glove with these persons. We are conducting a major investigation and will get to the bottom of it, the officer also says.
Currency was printed on Pakistan paper:
After the arrest of Shahjahan the NIA had stumbled upon some shocking details. While the ease with which these operatives functioned was one such detail, the other was the quality of the notes. The accused persons revealed to the NIA that it was extremely easy for them to move the notes out of Malda and even stock it as there were hardly any checks.
Further it was also found that the quality of the notes were of extremely superior quality. It was also found that the notes sourced by Pakistan to print its own currency was being used to print the Indian fake currency as well.