There has been an increase of about 1342% in the seizure of Counterfeit Indian Currency Notes (FICN) in Delhi on an annual basis, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data According to NCRB data, while 3 476 counterfeit notes worth Rs 4.16 lakh were seized in 2020, a total of 50,151 FICN worth Rs 2.05 crore were recovered in 2021.

“In 2021, the cops recovered 5,194 Rs 2,000 notes; 26,670 Rs 100 notes; 10,325 notes of Rs 500; 2,867 banknotes of Rs 200; 1,578 banknotes of Rs 1,000; 3,442 notes of Rs 50; 32 Rs 20 notes and 43 Rs 10 notes. In 2020, cops recovered 3,440 counterfeit Rs 100 notes and 36 Rs 2,000 notes,” the NCRB data said.

A police officer said that in the years since demonetization was enforced, the supply of counterfeit notes decreased as gangs operating from Pakistan were unable to print counterfeit notes. “When they started printing counterfeit money again, Covid affected their illegal activity,” TOI quoted the officer as saying. An officer said that in most cases they found counterfeit banknotes printed in Pakistan and supplied to neighboring countries. “From there, counterfeit notes are supplied to different states across the country,” police said.

Another reason for the decline in recovery in 2020 was the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, which impacted FICN smuggling.

“After the restrictions were eased, those involved in the illegal trade became active again and started to inject counterfeit notes into the country,” an officer said.

Meanwhile, West Bengal reported 82 cases of counterfeit banknotes and currencies last year, the highest in the country, according to the latest NCRB report.

Assam was in second place, reporting 75 cases, while Tamil Nadu was in third place with 62 cases. Among other states, Maharashtra has reported 55 cases, Rajasthan has reported 54 cases and Uttar Pradesh has reported 42 cases, according to the report.

It was not the first time that West Bengal, which shares international borders with Bangladesh and Nepal, reported the highest number of such cases. However, in 2021, the number of cases has decreased. In 2019, the state reported 208 cases of counterfeit banknotes and currency and in 2020 it was 109.

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