CHENNAI: The recent seizure of used counterfeit currency or Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) with a face value of `13,500 has raised several questions about the genuineness of the notes dispensed by banks and ATMs.
Recently, a teller on the 100 Feet Road branch of ICICI bank in Ashok Nagar had flagged notes deposited by woman as counterfeit. The woman, reportedly, had got the money after pledging her jewellery at another private bank.
“The fact that the notes were old with different serial numbers indicates that they were in circulation,” an official privy to the investigation said, adding that the issue was grave as it amounted to financial terrorism.
Given the condition of the notes, the official observed that the seized FICN could have changed many hands over a long period of time before they were detected. “At present, we are collecting evidence before approaching the private bank from where the FICN were issued,” the official added.
Despite frequent seizures of fake notes, customers generally believe the notes dispensed by banks and ATMs are genuine.
According to Divakaran, a resident of Adambakkam, “How is it possible for me to check whether the notes I get from an ATM are genuine?”
“Some mechanism to check the genuineness of notes should be put in place. A machine to check the notes, and reject them if fake would help check their circulation,” he suggested.
Counterfeits are smuggled into the country through the porous borders along Nepal and Bangladesh with the active help of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). These notes are brought to the State through various channels.