Spread of fake currencies worries traders, shoppersMohibub Zaman
Organised gangs are spreading counterfeit local currency notes in the market taking advantage of the buying spree ahead of the Eid, causing worries among economists, businessmen and shoppers as well.
Spread of forged currency notes in the capital and in other parts of the country is not only affecting the people and traders, it will also have a crippling impact on the economy if effective steps are not taken in time to check the crime, said economists and businessmen.
In July and August, counterfeit local currency notes of Tk 1.56 crore were seized and 16 people involved in manufacturing and spreading them were arrested by law enforcement agencies in the capital. In last one year, the law enforcers seized forged local currencies of about Tk 150 crore from all over the country and held 137 people involved in manufacturing and delivering them.
At least 12 organised gangs were engaged in manufacturing and spreading fake bank notes in the capital and counterfeit currencies of about Tk 20-25 crore were believed to be in circulation across the country, law enforcers said.
Spread of counterfeit currencies would badly affect the economy if the government did not take immediate steps to bust the currency forging networks, said economist Mirza Azizul Islam.
‘Organised gangs have become active before Eid in delivering fake currencies in the market which is immediately affecting businessmen and the people,’ he said.
‘I hope the problem would be short-lived, but the economy would suffer badly if the amount of counterfeit currencies continues to increase,’ he said.
He also said the law enforcement agencies should step up their activities to bust the gangs engaged in currency forging before the Eid.
Bangladesh shop owners' association organising secretary Shah Alam Khandaker said that almost every year a large number of currency forgers become active in the city before the Eid and deliver counterfeit bank notes in the market.
Shoppers swarm the markets before the Eid festival when both buyers and traders have little time to check every bank note and taking advantage of the rush, organised gangs of frauds
mix fake currencies with genuine bank notes and deliver them in the market, he said.
The government should take immediate steps to check the spread of counterfeit currencies and bust the groups engaged in the crime, he said.
He suggested that the government should install counterfeit currency detectors in the shopping malls and markets.
He alleged that currency forgers were often arrested by law enforcers but in most of the cases they secured bail and again engaged in the crime.
Detective branch additional deputy commissioner (south) Mohammed Mokhlesur Rahman said that counterfeit local currency notes worth about Tk 20-25 crore were believed to be in circulation across the country.
He said it at a press briefing on Sunday after the police arrested six alleged currency forgers with counterfeit bank notes worth Tk 50 lakh.
The police said they had stepped up their vigilance ahead of the Eid to check spread of counterfeit currency notes in the market.
The DB’s additional deputy commissioner Mashiur Rahman told New Age that at least 12 organised gangs engaged in manufacturing and delivering counterfeit bank notes in the in the capital were so far identified and five of the groups were in jail.
Bangladesh Bank on Sunday supplied 25 counterfeit currency detection machines to Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Rapid Action Battalion to prevent circulation of forged bank notes ahead of Eid.
BB deputy governor Md Abul Quasem said that the central bank had already taken a number of measures to prevent circulation of counterfeit currency notes.
BB executive director Ashim Kumar Dasgupta said the central bank had checked around 25 million notes of different denominations from the vaults of 27 commercial banks since April. But it detected a very few number of counterfeit notes, he said.
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