Demonetisation has dealt a blow to fake Indian currency notes (FICN) racketeers in Meghalaya who operate along the porous international border with Bangladesh, a BSF official has said. Since the demonetisation move earlier this month, there has been no report of seizure of fake Indian currency notes by BSF in the state, which shares a 443 km-long border with Bangladesh, the officer said.
The force had seized Rs 63,500 fake currency this year but none since the demonetisation due to the high vigil maintained at the vulnerable spots at the border and the major economic decisions made by the Centre, he said. Intelligence inputs gathered indicated that demonetisation has rendered helpless the FICN racketeers who had big plans to push these notes into the markets and destabilise the nation, the officer said.
BSF vs FICN
BSF is maintaining high vigil in areas identified as vulnerable to racketeers taking advantage of the government’s relaxation to transact using old Rs 500 notes, he said. The border has some of the most treacherous terrain pockets which rendered it porous and hence accessible to FICN racketeers who include militants and cross border criminal gangs.
He said during the last five years BSF have seized FICN of face value of about Rs 10 lakh from the porous stretches in Meghalaya and the racketeers apprehended included 14 Indian and 37 Bangladesh nationals. BSF has identified the bordering districts of South Garo Hills, South West Khasi Hills, East Khasi Hills, West and East Jaintia Hills districts as vulnerable.
Last year, there was least detection and apprehension of fake notes and the BSF seized only Rs 12,500 in South Garo Hills district. The highest seizure made in the last five years was in 2012 and 2013 when the BSF seized Rs 5,55,000 and Rs 2,51,000 fake notes and arrested 31 Bangladesh nationals and 12 Indian racketeers, the official said.