In a bid to crackdown on the circulation of the fake Indian currency notes (FICN) the Centre has asked the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) to carry out a security audit of the foreign firms supplying ink and paper for printing currency.
Sources said the RAW will play a major role in the FICN Coordination Group, which has been set up under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, to collect and share intelligence among the various agencies to prevent the circulation of the fake notes. “The currency paper and ink are procured through foreign firms and the RAW has been asked to check the background of the companies involved in the supply chain. There is a strong suspicion that groups based in Pakistan have managed to source similar papers and security ink from some foreign countries,” they said.
According to intelligence inputs, the FICN printed in Pakistan is brought to India through couriers in Malaysia, Thailand and the UAE.
The RAW has been asked to generate intelligence on these operators and coordinate with the foreign intelligence agencies to crackdown on the cartel involved in the smuggling of the counterfeit currency.
An IB despatch, which was shared with all the agencies, had categorically mentioned that the FICN smugglers were using a circuitous route to smuggle in the currency bundles printed in Pakistan. The couriers are mostly using Bangkok, Kathmandu and Dhaka airports to ferry the illegal consignment to the Indian cities.
“The matter has been raised with Bangladesh and Nepal to effectively counter the groups operating in those countries. The airport security teams have also been sensitised to maintain surveillance on the suspected travellers,” sources added.
During a recent meeting of the intelligence agencies, it had come to light that the scourge was on the rise since the percentage of forged notes in circulation had increased to 15.58 per cent total pieces from 13.56 per cent total pieces in 2012.