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Forged notes alert in city

Forged Indian currency notes, to the tune of Rs 50 lakh, are in circulation in the city and the suburbs. Cross-border agents have smuggled in the notes through the Bangladesh border and also from Singapore and Bangkok. The notes were distributed through a network of agents over the past six months.

This came to light during a joint investigation carried out over the past few months by the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) and the Reserve Bank of India. Subsequently, the Union home ministry has written to the state home department, directing the authorities to coordinate inquiries with the CBI.

“We have received a circular this week from the state home department and the Union home ministry to coordinate with the CBI in the investigations into the forged currency cases that have been registered with our department,’’ admitted additional director-general of police (CID) Ranjit Mohanty.

The state CID and the detective department have registered more than 100 cases involving fake currency in the past year but follow-up action could not be taken because the kingpins have taken shelter in neighbouring countries and could not be arrested.

Sources said CBI director P.C. Sharma had a teleconference with director-general of police D.C. Vajpai recently to discuss the ramifications of the cases. Later, Mohanty spoke to city police chief Sujoy Chakraborty, and it was decided that the detective department and the CID will assist the CBI in the probe.

An initial investigation reveals that the forged currency notes had reached several other states from Calcutta. Mohanty said his department has registered 59 cases of deals in fake and forged currency and arrested 83 people on the charge of being involved in the racket. “We have recovered Rs 6-lakh forged notes, mostly in the denominations of Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000,’’ he added.

Officials of the CID found that 83 people are local contacts — carriers of fake currency — working for people across the border for a commission. They gave out the names of persons and the printing presses in the neighbouring countries. The fakes are used mostly to fund gun-running and drug sales.

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