Agra, 2017.08.11 (Siraj Qureshi, India Today) Less than a year after 80 percent of the currency in the Indian market was scrapped by PM Modi, [partially] in a bid to prevent fake notes from being circulated in the country, the demonetisation move does not seem to have [fully] achieved its purpose. Counterfeiters appear to have perfected the art of printing copies of new 500, 2000 rupee currency notes as well.
On Wednesday night, the police arrested two brothers Shakir and Zahid in possession of fake currency worth Rs 48,000 in 2000 rupee denomination notes in Mathura. But the supplier of this currency managed to flee before the police could get to him. The Anti-Terrorism Squad and the National Investigation Agency are now interrogating the two brothers.
The government is actively trying to crack down on the supply chain of this counterfeit currency and while it has managed to arrest a few, the real kingpins are still absconding.
According to sources, the Govind Nagar police station had received a tip-off that two suspicious-looking youths were purchasing petty stuff at the Ramlila Ground exhibition in Mahavidha Colony and paying in Rs 2,000 notes.
The police reached the spot and took the duo into custody. Both are residents of Mathura.
SSP Mathura Swapnil Mamgai told India Today, “The two brothers were found to possess Rs 48,000 in fake 2000 rupee notes. Zahid runs a general store in Mathura and his brother-in-law Aas Mohammed alias Asu operated this fake currency racket from Kosi Kalan in Mathura. Asu had given these counterfeit notes to the two brothers to circulate them in the market and assured that he would give them more notes if they succeeded in circulating the current batch in Mathura.”
R P Singh, inspector at Govind Nagar police station, said, “Upon learning of the arrest of the two brothers, Asu appears to have fled from his home. His current location is in Kolkata, which indicates that these notes were being brought to Mathura from West Bengal.”
Social activist Mohd. Yaseen said, “These notes were, most probably, being smuggled in from Bangladesh. There are hundreds of illegal Bangladeshis living in the Agra division and the previously arrested ‘Lichi’ gang also consisted of these illegal immigrants. This is a clear indication that the real kingpin of this counterfeiting racket is sitting comfortably in Bangladesh.”
Yaseen said that the government should exert diplomatic pressure on the Bangladeshi government to end this supply of fake currency into India and also withdraw the 2000 rupee note from circulation as it had proved to be the easiest currency note to copy for counterfeiters due to its poor paper and ink quality.
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