Pakistan’s espionage agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) is now printing counterfeit Indian currency notes right at their security printing press in Malir Halt, Karachi. Simultaneously, Pakistani ISI has also started printing counterfeit Bangladesh currency notes in the same facilities.
As Special Cell of Delhi Police unravels the Pakistani links in the smuggling of high-quality Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN), the ongoing investigation has upset the Indian security establishment. The key concern is the startling fact that Pakistan-based crime-syndicates have copied the most exclusive security features of Rs 2,000 Indian currency notes, a feat not possible without the connivance of the state machinery.
For the first time, the FICN seized by Special Cell proves that ‘Optical Variable Ink’ used by India in printing Rs 2000 notes has also been used by the Pakistan operatives. “It’s a very high-quality special ink, which gives a color shift effect. On the front side of Rs 2000 note, the color of thread changes from green to blue when the note is tilted,” told an official of the Special Cell to IANS.
Sources said that hi-tech Optical Variable Ink is used in the new series of fake notes, reportedly being printed at Pakistan security press in Malir Halt, Karachi. Sources said during investigation it was revealed that notes are being printed under the supervision of senior officials of Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter services Intelligence (ISI). One of the prominent distributors of ISI is India’s most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim’s infamous D-company, which also operates from Karachi.
The investigation reveals that another prominent security feature copied for the first time by ISI operatives is the raised bleed lines printed on the extreme left and right side of the note. These raised lines are identification marks, meant for the visually impaired people. six months back, the FICN seized in India did not have such hi-tech security features. “They have now even copied the exploding series numbers printed on the right-hand bottom of the notes. For instance, in newly seized Rs 2000 notes, bearing series ‘7FK’ the series is printed in exploded formation. Hitherto, these features were absent on FICN, enabling anyone to detect them with naked eyes,” said the official.
After demonetization in 2016, the circulation of FICNs from Pakistan remained almost shut for a long period. However, in the first week of June this year, a huge consignment of FICN amounting to Rs 7.67 crore was seized by Nepal police at Tribhuwan Airport in Kathmandu. The seizure alarmed the agencies in New Delhi as for the first time, the consignment arriving from Karachi via Qatar carried high-quality FICN.
“The latest seizure of notes made by Special Cell has a more upgraded version of FICN. It seems that Optical Variable Ink, is being smuggled through the connivance of the state-run printing press in Pakistan from a multi-national company which supplies this ink only to federal governments. It is a serious security breach,” said an official of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence.
On August 24, a Special Cell team led by DCP Pramod Kumar Singh Kushwaha trapped a D-company agent Aslam Ansari from Nehru place in Delhi and recovered FICN worth over Rs 5.50 lakh. In the first glimpse, police sleuths could not verify the authenticity of the Rs 2000 notes as they carried almost all the security marks including thread, watermarks, and other features. Later the currency experts confirmed that notes seized by the Special Cell were high-quality FICN.