By Dr. Manish Kumar
THE CBI raided the vault of the Reserve Bank of India and found a huge cache of counterfeit Indian currency lying in the denomination of 500 and 1000. This was conducted when the CBI raided some 70-odd branches of various banks on the India-Nepal border from where counterfeit currency racket was unearthed. The officials of these branches told the CBI that they had got these notes from the RBI. But the government of the day has decided to shroud this matter both from the Parliament and the people of India. Or maybe that CBI did not take the government itself in confidence and did not divulge the findings. We have decided to publish this story after five months of indepth investigation and this is the saga of counterfeit currency racket being run in the country with the RBI as the medium.
After rigorous investigation it has come to light that the same company which has been printing currency notes for Indian state has also been churning counterfeit currency of the denominations of 500 and 1000. But it is a moot question as to why is the government and the investigating agencies of the state silent over the issue?
A damning information that was screened out of public view: in August 2010 the CBI raids the vault of the RBI and finds the same counterfeit currency that have been smuggled by the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI. But the point is from where did these notes come to land with the RBI? Either the ISI has hands long enough to have even penetrated the RBI or there is something more fishy, as in, a conspiracy deep and dark enough to destabilize the country’s economy. The CBI had questioned six bank officials but no one knows what did they divulge or what has come out of the CBI inquiry after so many months. Why has the Parliament been kept in dark? The FM and the CBI must come out in public.
In order to understand the origin of counterfeits we need to first understand the racket as it has been running in UP and Bihar. Actually ISI produced counterfeits were nabbed on the Nepal border and were produced in courts. The lawyers arguing the case naively, were ignorant of the deep roots of this racket and asked the court to first ascertain the veracity of the allegation that they were counterfeit. It was argued so only to buy time and nothing else. But matters turned gruesome when the Indian labs turned back the notes saying that they were real. Now the baffled CBI thought that if they were real how and
why they were being sold for half the price or amount of their denomination. Actually, the counterfeits have been printed so very close to the genuine that it was impossible for the Indian labs to discriminate.
This is another reason to get more worried. The CBI sent the notes to labs in Japan and Hong Kong. They also returned the same answer. Thereafter they were sent to America for testing. It was here that the lab discovered that they were counterfeit. The lab told that so striking were the similarities with the genuine that it was nearly impossible to tell the difference and the dissimilarities were also injected on purpose only. It could be the work of some state of the art international company dealing with printing currency. The lab also told the CBI how to differentiate the counterfeit from the genuine. Actually only
a small path on the notes has been altered. It was this information that triggered the CBI raids on the banks bordering Nepal. Now coming to the question as to how these ISI proffered notes landed in the RBI.
Experts are of the opinion that Indian currency notes are printed in such a way which cannot be faked easily and that Pakistan does not have the technology to support such counterfeiting. This means that currency notes of ISI and RBI have the same source. This can mean only two things, that either some officials of RBI are complicit in this conspiracy or that our entire economy has been hijacked by international mafia. Now the question is who prints the notes?
Our investigation led us to a company called DE LA RUE and this company is at the centre of this fake currency racket. This company has its biggest contract with RBI and it provides India with special watermark paper for printing currency. The moment RBI was raided the shares of this company plunged.
Europe was abuzz with the news of fakes being doled out by the company to RBI and Indian officials went to England to talk to the company officials. This resulted in the company suspending production and shipment at its Hampshire production unit. The company officials tried to assure Indian officials but to no avail and the Indians expressed serious concerns with regard to the company.
On the 5th January, 2011 India severed all business relations with DE LA RUE. It came to light that RBI had disbursed the contract of 16000 tons of printing paper to four competitors of DE LA RUE. DE LA RUE was not even invited to bid. But the government has not come out with the reason for doing so and it did not decide to take the Parliament into confidence. It also came to light, upon the statement of Tim Cobald of DE LA RUE, that the company was still in talks with government of India. Now what is the government still talking about with the company?