Ahmedabad: In a hurry to finish their festival shopping, many people may not have looked closely at the change they got from vendors. Diwali being a major shopping season as well, chances of circulation of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) shoot up, especially in Gujarat, where people shop heavily at the unorganised market.
Just a few days before Diwali, Chandkheda police had arrested a native of Rajasthan with fake notes of more than Rs 55,000. On interrogation he had confessed that he planned to use these notes during the Diwali festival. What is shocking is his revelation that there are numerous others like him out to do ‘business’ in the market. This effectively means that through all those FICN agents roaming free, fake notes of lakhs of rupees must have been pushed into the market.
The fact that Diwali season is also the time for annual shopping is used to the full advantage by FICN agents. Police sources said as the FICN network is more active in the state and the flow of cash, especially the unaccounted cash, increases, agents put in extra efforts to circulate FICN. Most common are fake notes of 500 and 1000s denomination.
Talking to DNA, a cop from the state intelligence bureau agreed there is no doubt the flow of FICN increases during Diwali. “The existing networks of agents and sub-agents are utilised completely and their commission too is increased during this season,” he said. He added that the recent crackdown on gangs by the Gujarat police had put a break on FICN flow. However, there are other channels active across the country, which are very difficult to identify and bust.
Another cop said that there was so much movement of cash during Diwali in shops, open markets and jewellery markets that it was very difficult to track FICN penetration at all levels. However, cops claimed that they had increased vigilance across the state to watch out for suspects or suspected channels of FICN.
“It is very easy for handlers to find agents who are ready to circulate FICN during the shopping season,” said the cop. Each agent gets over 20-30% profit. “They normally use a 500 or a 1000 rupee currency note at every shop they go to and the same note may reach a customer,” he said.