Nearly 60% of all fake money seized in the year 2021 were of ₹2,000 denomination, the Crime in India 2021 report compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows.
Of the total ₹20.39 crore fake Indian currency notes seized in 2021, ₹12.18 crore was in the denomination of ₹2,000.
The ₹2,000 and ₹500 new currency notes were introduced in 2016 after the old ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes were scrapped by the government. The government had said that curbing of circulation of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) was one of the primary objectives of the 2016 demonetisation exercise.
NCRB data shows that post 2016 there has been an increase in seizure of fake money.
While in 2016, fake currency worth ₹15.92 crore was seized, the seizures in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 stood at ₹28.10 crore, ₹17.95 crore, ₹25.39 crore, ₹92.17 crore and ₹20.39 crore, respectively. In 2015, before demonetisation, ₹15.48 crore in fake currency was seized.
The huge increase in 2020 was on account of seizure of dummy money issued from “Children Bank of India” that were recovered from a house in Pune. On June 10, 2020, police recovered fake notes worth ₹82.8 crore, of which around ₹43 crore were in the denomination of ₹2,000, from the Pune house. Six persons including a serving army official were arrested for the crime. Police found that the accused used to dupe customers by slipping in the dummy money while exchanging dollar bills to rupees.
The 2021 report says ₹6.6 crore worth of fake money in ₹500 denomination and ₹45 lakh in ₹200 denomination were also found.
India has in the past accused Pakistan’s ISI of printing high-quality fake Indian currency notes and channeling them into the Indian market.
The highest recovery of fake ₹2,000 notes was made in Tamil Nadu (₹5 crore) followed by Kerala (₹1.8 crore) and Andhra Pradesh (₹1 crore).
The Finance Ministry informed the Parliament on August 8 that the value of the counterfeit currency in the banking system had come down from ₹43.47 crore in 2016-17 to about ₹8.26 crore in 2021-22. The Ministry attributed the reduction in number of counterfeit banknotes from 7.62 lakh pieces in 2016-17 to 2.09 lakh pieces in 2020-21 to the Government of India’s decision to cancel the legal tender status of ₹1,000 and ₹500 denomination currency notes on November 8, 2016.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had earlier constituted a Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to conduct a focussed investigation of terror-funding and fake currency cases. The government has also set up an FICN Coordination Group to share intelligence and information with the security agencies among the States and the Centre.