Fake currency-the narcotic connection
The drug cartel in Tamil Nadu and the radical change in Kerala have prompted terror groups from the across the border pump in fake currency from down south. Recently there were reports which stated that groups such as the Al-Qeda were routing a lot of money for terror based operations through India.
It was pretty obvious that these groups would move down South due to the very high security presence in the Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh borders. These borders were the safest routes for these groups to pump in fake currency and their operations continued unabated until recently. It took a while for security agencies to bust this network and although they have not entirely succeeded they have managed to curb operations from the above mentioned borders to a large extent.
Today reports by the intelligence bureau suggest that the fake currency will be pumped in through the southern corridors. While it was pretty obvious that Kerala would be a favored destination since almost all terror groups have managed to set up base over there, the case of Tamil Nadu was slightly different.
Very recently two drug peddlers had been arrested in Bangalore. On interrogation, the police got to know that they had been peddling drugs from Chennai which today is considered to be the hub for the date rape drug. During the interrogation of these two men it came to light that they were small players but a larger investigation was conducted which brought to light the dirty side of this business which is being headquartered in Chennai.
Further investigations also went on to show that this drug mafia was controlled from Goa and a hand of the Russian mafia was not ruled out. In addition to this there was also this angle pertaining to the Dawood Ibrahim gang which came out very strongly during this investigation. It went on to show that the drug cartel had moved down south and it was time for security agencies to wake up.
For the mafia from Goa this is purely business, but for the others from Pakistan, it is the creation of a route for the supply of arms and also more importantly fake currency. It is the same practice which was adopted when drugs were being smuggled through the Nepal border, an officer involved in the investigation says. There was already an existing route and the same peddlers are asked to carry in fake currency.
With this new phenomenon it became clear that the landing point for fake currency in India was Kerala and Tamil Nadu. All other aspects pertaining to the ratio remain the same. Another change that has been witnessed in this new route is that the peddlers are all educated persons unlike the previous times when labor and other workers were used as mules.
Till date from South India, officers have managed to seize fake currency to the tune of nearly Rs 18 crore. There has been an increase in this number from Rs 8 crore in 2009 to Rs 10 crore in 2010. This is only an indication of how the market for this business is on the rise.
Investigations have also shown that these notes which are printed in Pakistan are first moved directly to the Gulf nations and Dubai and then pumped into this market. This is the exact route used by the drug mafia which operates out of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The ISI today finds the need to increase the fake currency racket and constantly innovate since there has been a major crack down where black money was concerned. It is a known fact that 1.5 trillion dollars worth of black money has been stashed away by Indians abroad and the Indian government is making efforts to bring it back. A large part of this money was used for terror operations, but at the moment there has been a freeze. No one connected to this money appears to be touching it and the last thing that they would do now is hand it over for terror operations as they would risk a double jeopardy. This has consistently slowed down terror financing to a large extent which has made the ISI put on its thinking cap.
The fake currency racket down South was first exposed when a person by the name K M Abdullah was arrested. He had on him Rs 2.5 crore of fake currency and had told the police that he hailed originally from Dubai. This was just a tip of the ice berg and agencies did not probe much at that time as they were busy with the main routes ie Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Now with these routes almost shut the racket has moved down South. The currency is being circulated out of Tamil Nadu and Kerala into Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The money is picked up from these places who have agents and then distributed to the rest of the country, Intelligence bureau officials also add. The IB further adds that this would require the cooperation of the police officials from all these states. Goa in particular will have to play a more important role since the drug cartel emerges out of there and there is a need to keep a tab on the drug mafia over there for possible links with terror operatives.