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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cattle-smuggling with fake Indian currency

SILCHAR, Nov 29: On the eve of Id-ul-Zuha, cattle smuggling from Barak Valley to Bangladesh was on large scale. Smugglers from this side of the border find it profitable to sell cattle in Bangladesh where it costs high. According to BSF sources, illegal trade in cattle assumes high dimension due to its heavy demand on that side of the border. According to information, smuggling takes place from the markets of Kaliganj, Kabuganj, Katigorah and Sealtek and it is a regular affair.

Some interesting facets of this clandestine business have come to light with the arrest of some smugglers in the past who have been identified as Safiqul Islam, Nilu Das and Reaj Uddin engaged in the illegal trafficking in the Nilambazar area of Karimganj district. Their interrogation by police and security forces have thrown interesting light on their modus – operandi. In order to avoid the intricacy of rupee – taka exchange, smugglers have adopted novel method of barter system. Smuggling from this side of the border is now taking place in lieu of fake Indian currency note.

The Bangladeshi agents in nexus with their Indian counterparts are operating this lucrative business, taking advantage of many a hole in the border management. This network of smuggling of cattle is ever widening. ISI and terrorist groups are providing the necessary liverage. On trail of fake currency note circulation, intelligence agencies have stumbled upon startling revelations by smugglers.

Indian agents have to take the cattle to the pre-arranged destinations in Bangladesh. In exchange of the market price of Rs 4,000 for a cattle, Bangladeshi agents pay their Indian counterparts fake currency note of Rs 10,000. Even a few months ago, genuine Indian note of Rs 60 was paid against forged Rs 100. The current rate is Rs 100 fake notes for Rs 40 genuine currency. The amount to be exchanged is calculated on the basis of the value of cattle.

Border line residents along the unfenced side are mute witness to this phenomenon since the persons in the shady deals are armed and organized. The movement for smuggling begins after late evening through vulnerable points. Against a limited number of weekly cattle markets on Indian side, there has been mushrooming of illegal trade centres in Bangladesh, enough indication of its voluminous growth.

Bangladesh despite the friendly Awami League led Government has emerged as a route to push in fake Indian currency notes printed in some important cities of Pakistan as documented by the Intelligent agencies.

Availability of American dollar much in demand in Bangladesh becomes easier through Indian currency because of its higher appreciation in international market. According to Union Home Ministry, fake currency note in circulation in the country has touched staggering figure to paralyse the economy.

Investigations have revealed subtle distinction between the genuine and fake notes which are in the denomination of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500. Unless this racket is tackled with tough hand, it will wreck the Indian economy, experts opine. THE SENTINEL

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