Golam Mostafa Jibon: A powerful syndicate of fake note manufacturers and traders has become active again across the country ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest festival of the Muslim.
A section of fake note producers and suppliers has also set up strong bastion on the both sides of Bangladesh and India borders with a view to carry brisk business deceiving the eyes of law enforcers.
The syndicate members, who live in the Indian part of the border, push the notes into Bangladesh through their agents taking the advantage of lax-vigilance by the concerned law enforcers. Then they get handsome amount of commission with original notes. Spreading the fake notes at different sacrificial animal markets through their recruited agents is the main target of the syndicate.
Meanwhile, crores of fake notes have been released in the markets targeting the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha. Those notes would be transacted during selling and purchasing of sacrificial animals at different hats and bazaars in Bangladesh, RAB sources said quoting an arrestee named Naimul Hasan Toufique, 21, who was arrested on last Tuesday night along with huge amount of fake notes and fake note producing equipments from Badda area in the capital. The arrested was also a Civil Engineering student of a private university.
During the drive, RAB also seized counterfeit notes worth around Tk 50.26 lakh from his possession.
Reliable sources said, counterfeit notes have now flooded in the markets centering the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha. The administration is facing trouble to control the violence of counterfeit note traders.
Although, some fake note traders were arrested several times, the loopholes in the law work as bridge for their relief.
Getting rid from prison on bail, they start the business again. As a result, businessmen and common people are harassed by them frequently. Many sellers and buyers of sacrificial animals are now passing time in panic ahead of the big festival Eid-ul-Azha.
According to the administration, despite the arrest of those involved in the scam, 80 percent of them are released on bail and are re-engaged in the counterfeit note business after coming out from Jail. As soon as Eid come, their syndicate becomes active all over the country.
Sources said, divided into different sections, several unscrupulous circles are dealing in counterfeit notes. They make fake notes by renting houses in the suburbs of the capital and different district towns. They do not stay in one house for long in fear of arrest.
After a few months, they moved from one area to another. The mint for making counterfeit notes was formed there. There are also women members in the syndicate. Women members are active at every level. Sometimes pretending to be a housewife, sometimes a college student, they are carrying fake money and taking it to a certain place.
Besides, counterfeit money is spread in the market by buying goods through them. That is why, they are given a hefty commission. Syndicate members are also provided legal assistance, if caught. Meanwhile, the central bank has taken initiative to protect traders and common people from these illegal traders of counterfeit notes.
As part of their awareness, Bangladesh Bank has instructed several commercial banks in the country to display videos footages with the security features of the original notes.
According to a member of the counterfeit money making ring, it costs at Tk 6000 to Tk 7000 to make 1 lakh notes. They sell that money again between Tk 25,000 and Tk 30,000.
The cycle produces counterfeit notes and supplies those to different districts of Bangladesh including Dhaka, Chattogram, Rajshahi and Khulna through the members of their cycle.
Detective Branch of Police said, the fraudsters usually forge Tk 500 and Tk 1,000 notes in the hope of making more profit.
According to Bangladesh Bank sources, counterfeit notes are spreading in the country due to the weakness of the law. A law is in force to prevent counterfeit notes with a penalty of up to 12 years in prison or both.
Mahfuzur Rahman, Additional DIG and Commander (CO) of RAB-10 said, “The syndicate members used to sell a bundle of fake notes amounting 1 lakh in exchange of original Tk 25,000 to Tk 30,000. After producing the fake notes, those are supplied to the markets through their recruited agents, who mostly maintain communication through online and various social media like Messenger, Viber, Imo and Whatsapp.
According to the confessional statement of the arrested Toufique, the police official informed that he was an active member of organized fake note producing syndicate and had been carrying the business for over last three years.
Replying to a query, DIG Mahfuzur Rahman said, “To prevent such as business of fake notes, law enforcers have already beefed up surveillance. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Bank with the help of law enforcers has taken measures to set up fake note detection machines at different animal markets to resist swindling by the syndicate.
Now, creation of awareness among the sellers and buyers is most important. If both the animal sellers and buyers are alerted over the issue, the syndicate members can’t make high benefit. This is why, the both parties should check the money strictly during transactions.
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