Saturday, June 23, 2007

Fake notes of 500 flood Siliguri

Siliguri, June 23 Hundreds of counterfeit notes printed in Pakistan are entering the region through Nepal, the inspector-general of police (north Bengal), Rabinjit Singh Nalwa, said today.
“To destabilise the Indian economy, ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, is backing a racket to continuously supply fake notes through international borders, including the one with Nepal,” Nalwa said.
The route “from Karachi to Kathmandu to north Bengal” came to light after the interrogation of four persons arrested with fake Indian currency totalling Rs 80,000 over the past two months. Two of the four men are from Nepal and were caught by the Sashastra Seema Bal (see chart).
The most recent raid took place today when Pradhannagar police seized counterfeit notes with face value of Rs 18,000 from an abandoned house at Chathat, about 20 km from here on the India-Nepal border. They also seized Rs 12,000 genuine Indian currency, but could not arrest anyone.
“We were tipped off by Imam Hussain of Jalpaiguri district, whom we caught with fake currency near Siliguri Junction on June 19,” said Tapan Alo Mitra, the inspector-in-charge of the Pradhannagar police station.
Businessmen complain that forged currency has permeated the trading hub in an organised way.
“Everyday, our members receive counterfeit notes, leading to losses,” said Biswajit Das, the secretary of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, North Bengal. “We want the government to initiate an awareness programme to help traders identify fake currency.”
A bank official said in most cases, 500-rupee notes were found to be fakes.
The SBI branch on Hill Cart Road has installed a machine worth Rs 29 lakh to detect counterfeit notes.