Police and intelligence agencies are concerned over the increased seizure of fake banknotes in recent times, and suspect it to be part of a bigger game plan that is likely to involve foreign players based in neighbouring countries.
Intelligence operatives refer to past precedents as well as incidents in history that prove the use of counterfeit currencies to hurt the economy of a country or region. They point fingers at some South Asian countries where such designs are implemented through highly advanced printing machines, and are subsequently passed on to their partners in India.
Apart from economic implications, which usually are felt over a long period, counterfeit notes of high dominations are favoured by traders in illegal arms and narcotics. Both incidentally have been a bane for the people of the Northeast.
It is believed that consignments of higher denomination notes are still crossing over the porous borders into Assam and some other parts of the Northeast. At times criminals carrying out this crime against the country have also pointed in this direction.
Bankers and businessmen in different parts of the state are also reporting the widespread circulation of counterfeit currency. It has led to some neighbouring countries such as Bhutan to handle Indian currency of Rs 500 with great trepidation. Similar instances have been reported by visitors to Nepal.
A senior banker, who did not wish to be named said that some fake notes can be easily spotted. But more recently, new ones have shown marked improvements and at times are difficult to identify by the lay person. There are some reports of bank personnel being fooled by the quality of a counterfeit currency, which again hints that those are being printed on high quality paper in top of the line presses.