Andhra Pradesh police, with the help of Enforcement Directorate (ED), is contemplating to attach properties of the members of the gangs involved in the circulation and smuggling of fake Indian currency notes in the state.
"Circulation of fake Indian currency notes in the state has become a challenge for the state police, but the situation is not so alarming. We wanted to take more deterrent measures to curb it," Inspector General of Police (CID) Jitender told PTI.
"However, the situation was definitely a challenge for us. Since the state police is vigilant and careful, a number of gangs, involved in the circulation of FICN were detected in a year," the IGP said adding that cases of fake currency of various denominations, at the face value of Rs 1 crore, were detected and reported annually.
"We have written to the ED, which sought information about the FICN cases reported in the state. We have also asked the central agency to register cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against those, who were allegedly involved in the circulation and smuggling of fake currency, as it is one of the scheduled offences, so that whatever properties they have purchased with this money, can be attached," the IGP said.
Besides the ED, the state police is also coordinating with the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to curb the circulation of fake currency in the state, he said.
Most of the gang members, involved in the smuggling of fake currency, belonged to West Bengal, Jitender said, adding that the state police have already written to the Director General of Police and Additional DGP (CID) in that state to take concrete measures against the menace, he said.
The IGP said that the state police, with the help of RBI, has seized FICN at a face value of over Rs 6 crore and arrested 870 persons since 2007.
This year, counterfeit currency notes at the face value of over Rs 42 lakh have been seized and 94 cases were booked while 84 persons were arrested in this connection, he said, adding that most of them hailed from West Bengal. Of the 94 cases, eight cases are involving FICN at the face value of over Rs 1 lakh each, Jitender said.
"A full-fledged cell, in coordination with the RBI, has been constituted to check the circulation of fake currency notes, besides changing the strategy to detect the source of manufacturers and gangs involved in the distribution or circulation of FICN," the IGP said.
The IGP said it was observed that fake currency notes of high quality standard were being smuggled from our neighbouring country through various means of transport.
It has come to notice that gang members involved in the FICN have been trying to establish contacts with locals for circulation of fake currency, he said adding that they exchange fake notes at petrol bunks and with petty vendors in the market.
Recently, Kulsumpura police in Hyderabad busted a three-member gang, which was circulating FICN at Puranapul fruit and vegetable market. Three persons-- Md Talim and Md Arsi, both from Bihar, and Md Haji Kul from Malda of West Bengal were arrested.
The police officer said that people need to be more cautious about the high quality fake notes of Rs 500 denomination, which are more in circulation as compared to the Rs 1,000 and Rs 100 denominations.
He has also urged people to contact the District Superintendent of Police (DSP) on 9493896141, in case they come across a fake currency note.
He admitted that most of the complaints come from the customers using ATMs of different banks.
"However, some organisations or individuals do not report such cases, like the ICICI bank, which did not lodge any complaint in the past four years, but has now come forward. Based upon the complaint by the bank, police have registered two cases at Hyderabad and Vijayawada," he said.
"We have been informing the banks concerned to take all the necessary precautions during the interaction meetings with the bankers. If they do not take precautions, they will have to face the music," the IGP warned.