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NEW DELHI: The secret template India uses to print currency notes has been "compromised" and that is possibly why fake but real-looking Indian
currency notes are being pumped in to subvert the country's economy, says the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The CBI, the nodal agency for checking fake notes, has now formed a special team comprising its sleuths and officials from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the Reserve Bank of India and the Central Forensic Science Laboratory to find out how and at what level the design got "compromised".
"Our investigations have reveal
NEW DELHI: When you make a cash payment at stores or petrol stations, chances are that the receiver will closely scrutinize the Rs 500 notes to satisfy himself that they are not fakes while casually putting away the Rs 100 bills. Here's something you or the shopkeeper may not know —official figures show that enforcement agencies have seized more Rs 100 denomination fake notes than Rs 500 ones since 2006.
According to figures disclosed by the government in Rajya Sabha this week, over 7.34 lakh fake notes of Rs 100 denomination were seized during 2006-09 (till May 31), while fakes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 seized during this period were 5.76 lakh and 1.09 lakh, respectively.
Though in the past two years more counterfeit Rs 500 notes have been discovered than Rs 100 ones, security agencies say this could be due to the heightened awareness about fake Rs 500 bills in the system. They say a large number of spurious Rs 100 notes continue to be in circulation, indicating how deep the counterfeiters have got into system.
The counterfeiters, guided and controlled by their masters from across the border, have consistently been managing to pump in fake Indian currency notes (FICNs). Though the seizures have also been increasing in the wake of additional security features incorporated in the bank notes by RBI in 2005, the measures don't seem to be enough
NEW DELHI: You might have got fake notes from ATMs but banks appear to be in complete denial. Both ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank said that they replenish their ATMs with only those notes that have been screened by notes sorting machines. A senior official of SBI claimed the bank was taking adequate measures to load its ATMs with genuine currency. Other banks also maintained that they follow the RBIs guidelines on the issue.
However, the fact remains that customers do get fake currencies through ATMs. The worst is that when they approach banks with the complain of receiving a fake note, bank official impound his note. In fact, as per the law of land, the bank should lodge an FIR with police, which would investigate the source of the fake currency. So, the whole thing goes into a loop and you're left that much poorer. The first step of correcting a problem is recognising it. Banks don't appear to be taking this first step.
A senior bank official, however, accepted that the entire system of replenishing ATMs with was not fool proof. Most banks have outsourced the activity to outside companies. While there are guidelines that these companies are expected to follow, there isn't a mechanism to monitor total observance of the guidelines.
A senior official of a private bank said that they have given the job to highly respected global firm. Maintaining that they keep a check on them through periodic audit and other mechanism, he said, if there is collusion with the bank employees, nothing can be done.
RBI on Friday admitted to the rising problem of fake money but said it was not quite as large as was estimated by TOI in its report. It said there
was no estimate of forged notes in circulation by any agency.
The Nayak Committee, set up in 1988 to go into the dynamics of currency management had estimated the value of notes in circulation (genuine notes) in the year 2000 at Rs 1,69,000 crore, it said.
According to RBI's data, the forged notes detected by the banking system in 2007-2008 was four notes in a million notes. Out of a total 44.22 billion notes in circulation, 1.96 lakh notes were estimated to be forged. It gave out figures of fake note from 2000-01 to 2007-08.
In India, Big Brother just wants to help. The country's 1.2 billion citizens are to be issued with a biometric identity card in an attempt to improve the delivery of India's inefficient public services – a move civil liberties' activists are condemning as the act of a "surveillance society".