Monday, November 5, 2012

Pakistani ISI circulating counterfeit currency in India and Bangladesh

Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Intelligence [ISI] is printing counterfeit Indian and Bangladeshi currencies from the state-owned security printing presses under special arrangement and circulating the same through well organized network, which is coordinated by senior ISI officials. Although India's National Investigation Agency [NIA] estimated over 16,000 crore [1 crore = 10 million] of counterfeit Indian currencies in circulation, the actual volume of such currencies are believed to be much above the estimation. Despite such counterfeit Indian currencies being regularly seized by members of law enforcement agencies in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan and Holland, the frequency of such illegal circulation could never be either contained or stopped.

The Central Economic Intelligence Bureau [CEIB] in India says that the NIA, the CBI, the DRI and police have detected only 28 to 30 per cent of fake currency actually circulating in the market. The quantity of fake currency floating around in the country is enough to keep the terrorist machinery well-oiled and running. The price of a counterfeit Rupees 100 Indian note sold in by the ISI-run racket at the one fifth prices to the distribution network. According to intelligence reports, major portion of the fund received from the distribution of counterfeit Indian and Bangladeshi currencies are used by ISI in giving financial backing to various terrorist and jihadist outfits such as Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Hizbut Tahrir, Hizbut Towhid and other militancy groups in Jammu and Kashmir. ISI is also running illegal trade of smuggling narcotics from Afghanistan and Pakistani frontier provinces to various destinations in Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, while a large volume of such narcotics are re-directed to various Western destinations by using Bangladesh in particular as transit route. Few years back, a Bangladeshi business and manufacturing enterprise named B D Foods, which has closer ties with Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami were caught red-handed while shipping heroin concealed inside raw fish.

In recent past, the Pakistani ISI also started pumping counterfeit Indian currency via Vietnam as their previous route using Thailand has already come to a total halt due to strict measures taken by the Thai authorities. Counterfeit Indian currencies are being smuggled to India by some assigned 'carriers' of ISI, most of who are females. Counterfeit currencies are tactfully hidden within bodies of the carriers, while they also use specially made suitcases which has metallic compartment to hide the fake currencies. Counterfeit currencies hidden in the compartments can easily cheat eyes of the scanners at Nepalese airport. At the same time, counterfeit Indian currencies are also transported by ISI 'carriers' inside electronic and electrical appliances, including refrigerators. In recent past, Vietnam has turned into the major hub of pumping counterfeit currencies to India via Nepal. The ISI men also send package of counterfeit currencies through international courier service on a regular basis.

According to Indian intelligence sources, during 2011, ISI pumped counterfeit Indian currency worth US$ 250 million. An ISI official named Aslam Chaudhury plays key role in transportation of counterfeit Indian and Bangladeshi currencies through their regional network of carriers. Each year, ISI pumps counterfeit Bangladeshi currency worth more than US$ 50 million. It was also revealed by the Indian intelligence agencies that, ISI produces each of the RS 100 counterfeit notes at the cost of RS 20 only, while the cost of production by the Indian federal bank is above RS 38. The counterfeit currencies are printing in highest precision and in most cases; these are similar to those of genuine notes. ISI's agenda is not only to fund terror outfits through distribution of the counterfeit currency, but also to put adverse pressure on the national economy and monetary system in Bangladesh and India.

The counterfeit Bangladeshi currency notes are pumped by Pakistani ISI through a number of ways. In most cases, the counterfeit currency is carried by few airline staffs, who work for ISI against healthy compensation, while the distribution of counterfeit currency are coordinated by unscrupulous employees of several nationalized financial institutions. Counterfeit Bangladeshi currency is missed up with genuine currencies and bundled by those bank employees and circulated to people. In most cases, innocent people, who are deceived by the bank employees with counterfeit currencies, end up into hands of law enforcing and intelligence agencies, thus suffering legal consequences, while the main culprits always remain out of reach. It is even learnt from dependable sources that a section of employees working at the vaults of the central bank are also linked with the counterfeit currency racket and replaces the genuine notes with the counterfeits, while due to high-precision printing methods, it is nearly impossible detecting the counterfeit currencies even in the regular scanning devices.

Seeking anonymity, a senior government official in India said, most of the counterfeit Indian currency notes seized by the law enforcing agencies over the last few years have been of a higher denomination. "Printing of high-quality fake currency of a higher denomination is helping the counterfeiter earning huge profit, which is being used to fund terror operations inside India, besides destabilizing country's economy. Circulation of Bangladeshi counterfeit currency by ISI significantly increased since Bangladesh Awami League came into power in 2009. In India, out of each of the four RS 1000 currency notes, one is detected to be counterfeit. The situation is also becoming alarming with Bangladeshi currency.

In 2009, Pakistani spy agency ISI eliminated Majid Manihar, who was believed to be the top kingpin of distributing counterfeit Indian and Bangladeshi currency in Nepal. Manihar was one of the key links of ISI in Manihar and he is believed to be killed by the Pakistani spy agency, when his son Vicky was arrested with counterfeit currency, which resulted in Majid Manihar being under strict eyes of the Indian intelligence. Manihar was shot dead in a hotel in Nepalganj in Nepal.

The ISI handlers were suspecting that Manihar was bargaining with Indian agencies for the release of his son. They also feared an eventual crackdown on their network. So, they got rid of Manihar by getting him killed by hired killers. Manihar's son Vicky, after his arrest by a district police team of India led by SP Lalji Shukla, had given some vital leads about the fake currency business in the border area. He had also revealed ISI's role in the FICN operations and his father's links with Dawood Ibrahim.

In Bangladesh, the distribution of counterfeit currency note by ISI is coordinated by a man named Ismail, who belongs to Aga Khan Community, who has closer ties with Dawood Ibrahim and his network. Ismail, a Pakistani citizen also is reportedly holding British passport runs a huge distribution network of counterfeit currencies in Bangladesh, which has a large number of female cadres in the racket. The racket also maintains closer links with a section of unscrupulous employees of various banking institutions in Bangladesh.