NEW DELHI: Concerned over circulation of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN), the Centre has intensified vigil along Indo-Bangladesh border, especially in West Bengal, which has emerged as a major transit point for smuggling counterfeit notes.
Pakistan's ISI has been actively pumping fake notes into India and central security agencies are alarmed at the new routes being taken by the spy agency to unleash economic terror.
The journey of FICN starts from Pakistan and reaches Bangladesh by air or sea and then reaches India through West Bengal's border district Malda, official sources said.
Fake currency notes having the face value of Rs 9 crore was seized in West Bengal in 2015, setting the alam bells ringing in security establishment. Government has directed security agencies to intensify vigil along the border, sources said.
Several Bangladeshi as well as Pakistani nationals involved in FICN racket were arrested last year, they said. Printing fake Rs 100 note costs about Rs 25-30. The major states where the fake Indian currency notes are in circulation are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Interestingly, the Union Cabinet today approved transfer of 58.81 acre land, belonging to the Farakka Barrage Project in Malda, to Border Security Force, which guards the international border. The BSF will set up a battalion headquarters in Malda.
Sources said the flow of fake notes is no longer limited to smuggling from the border areas of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal but Southeast Asian countries have lately emerged as important transit points.
Malaysia, Thailand and Oman, frequented by Indians, have emerged as the new centres for stocking FICN and then circulating it across India, the sources said.
In certain cases, courier services of international repute have also been used by the ISI to pump in fake currency notes in India.