New Delhi, Nov 6 (UNI) India has called for immediate attention of the Interpol member-countries to tackle the problem of counterfeiting of currency, which poses grave threat to national security and could also result in economic destabilisation.
The call was made at the 76th General Assembly of Interpol at Marrakesh, Morocco, by CBI Director Vijay Shanker, who said in the past decade India saw an unprecedented rise of counterfeit currency that resulted in the seizure of Rs 70-80 million a year.
Mr Shanker, an Executive Committee Delegate, leading a three-member delegation to the General Assembly of the Interpol, said there was increasing evidence of sponsored counterfeiting with the sinister objectives of terrorist funding and promoting transnational organised crime.
He said the trend has been corroborated by the fact that in the past one year seizures outside India have been bigger and counterfeiting is more sophisticated than domestic seizures.
He urged the Interpol member-countries to pay immediate attention before many more countries fall prey to the schemes of the organised crime syndicates, said the investigative agency release.
Drawing the attention of the Assembly to another serious form of counterfeiting, Mr Shanker pointed out that a recent Interpol report submitted before the European Parliament has indicated that large volumes of spurious anti-malarial drugs have been circulating in mainland South East Asia, causing serious danger to the health care efforts in these countries.
He also referred to the WHO factsheet on counterfeit medicines which describes instances of large-scale deaths of poor people in Niger, Haiti, India and Cambodia due to consumption of spurious drugs and urged for international condemnation of such counterfeiting.
Mr Shanker suggested that given the transnational character of these crimes, International law-enforcement cooperation is essential to combat them, saying while dealing with such a transnational issue, all domestic efforts will be sub-optimal unless these are supplemented by mutual law-enforcement cooperation between the nations.
Mr Shanker also noted that the Internet has added new dimensions to Intellectual Property Related crimes, especially video audio piracy. Online auction sites now provide a grey market for pushing counterfeit products, he added.