Stringent steps needed to deal with fake currency racket
The spread of forged currency notes all over the country has become a growing concern for a few years. What is, however, more worrisome is that the currency forging networks become all the more active before Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha, two major religious festivals of the Muslims, when people across the strata, of course in line with their respective ability, usually go on a buying spree, resulting in an extra momentum in the circulation of currencies. As the organising secretary of Bangladesh Shop Owners’ Association said in a New Age report on Tuesday, markets swarm with people before Eid when traders and buyers literally have little time to check the genuineness of every bank note subject to transaction, and the racketeers, capitalising on such a situation, mix the forged notes with the genuine ones and deliver them on the market. To speak the truth, ordinary people hardly have the ability to distinguish between genuine and forged notes even in a normal situation. Reports are there that makers of forged currency notes have recently acquired such sophistication that they can easily confuse people with their products. Besides, a nexus between some officials of Bangladesh Bank, the sole authority to issue currency notes, and the people involved in counterfeiting bank notes has compounded the situation further. It is also true that because of loopholes in the laws concerned, law enforcers sometimes put the racketeers behind bars only to free and let them get back into their misdeeds soon.
With Eid-ul-Fitr approaching, meanwhile, according to the report, law enforcement agencies have seized Tk 1.54 crore in forged currency and arrested 16 people allegedly involved in manufacturing and spreading forged currencies in July and August in the capital. Moreover, law enforcers assume that counterfeit currencies of around Tk 20 to Tk 25 crore are currently in circulation across the country and that at least 12 organised gangs are engaged in this heinous act in the capital. It may be pertinent to recall here that law enforcing units seized about Tk 150 crore in fake bank notes and arrested 137 people charged with manufacturing and circulating such notes in 2011.
It need not be overemphasised that the prevalence of fake bank notes can only not ruin the persons that fall victim to the fraud but also jeopardise the economy. Hence, it is imperative for the incumbents to immediately deal with the issue in a stringent and sustained manner.
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