KOCHI: The counterfeit currency mafia has been turning to Sri Lanka as a new transit point, recent investigations carried out by the Crime Branch and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) revealed.
According to sources, Tamil Nadu, which has reported a large increase in the number of fake currency cases, of late, has come under the scanner, and it is being unearthed that the fake currencies printed in Pakistan reach Sri Lanka from where they are transported by sea or air to Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The Organised Crime Wing (OCW) of the Crime Branch, which has been investigating the Nedumbassery fake currency case, has found out that since the security agencies have kept tabs on the arrival of fake currencies through the Bangladesh border, the mafias have shifted their transit point to Sri Lanka.
“There has been an increase in the number of fake currency cases in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This clearly indicates that Sri Lanka has become the transit point for the fake currencies. Mostly, these notes arrive by fishing boats and by air. Some of the fake currencies seized recently by Tamil Nadu police were from Sri Lanka,” a top OCW official said.
“There have been Intelligence Bureau reports that fishing trawlers are being used for transporting the fake currency. A large number of Sri Lankan trawlers enter India’s territorial waters on the pretext of fishing. There have been recommendations that all the trawlers should be checked thoroughly as the fake currencies from Pakistan are transported by sea through Sri Lanka. The migrant labourers are used for circulating these notes to different parts of the country,” an official at the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence said.
The agents in the rural areas of West Bengal were the main carriers of fake currencies.
"The NIA had tracked some of the agents in Malda who used to circulate fake notes here. But if the arrival of the notes from Sri Lanka continues, the situation will become more complicated. Proper checking and strict vigil along the coastline will help curb the menace,” he added.