Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: The recent seizure of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) with a face value of a whopping Rs 7.9 crore in Koraput district of Odisha has sent the police as well as public into tizzy.

Why craze for fake notes?

While the circulation of fake banknotes has now become a major concern, experts opine that the main reason behind printing of such counterfeit notes is to fund terrorist activities.

“Fake notes were used for the 2008 Mumbai attack too,” said cyber-security expert and IT consultant Lingaraj Sethi.

Sethi said according to the NIA (National Investigation Agency), Gujarat is the hub of fake notes. After 2018 post demonetisation, Rs 43.2 crore fake notes were seized from Gujarat alone.

Where are currency notes & counterfeit ones printed?

There are four places in India where currencies are printed, Nashik, Dewas, Mysore and West Bengal. “Special papers having different features and Devanagari fonts are used. To completely copy the papers and fonts is a difficult factor,” he said.

Sethi said there are several process through which the counterfeit notes are made. The fraudsters take photocopies of currency notes and analyse them and develop duplicate notes.In order to copy the braille portions of the notes, they use grease, oil or spirit.

How to spot fake notes?

“If we minutely judge out it, we can easily find out the counterfeit notes. We also can find out in which press the notes were printed,” Sethi explained.

Sethi said the braille marks which are 3D mark oriented is vertical in Rs 20 notes, square in Rs 50, triangle in Rs 100, oval in Rs 500, and diamond in Rs 2000.

While creating the fake notes, the fraudsters emphasize on the most common features of the currency notes checked by general public while verifying its originality.

“When public check the authenticity of the notes, they generally check the braille-like portion on the notes. But the fraudsters focus on that aspect on a priority basis. So it is not easy for the general public to find out the forgery,” he said.

Sethi further said special raw materials like papers, inks, and equipment like printers and plates are used for printing the notes.

“The raw materials should not be made available in the open market. However, these are available in the market. There are IPC Section 489 (B, C, D E) for fake notes,” he added.