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Manipal: One of the oldest and major commercial banks of India, the Syndicate Bank detected as many as 140 fake currency notes with a face value of over Rs. 78 thousand, deposited in its currency chest in a span of 6 months.
As per a complaint filed to the police by B. Narasimha Nayak, Nodal Officer of Syndicate Bank Regional Office, 27 notes of Rs. 1,000 denomination, 101 notes of Rs. 500 denomination, and 12 notes of Rs. 100 denomination have been identified as fake notes. “The currency chest receives cash from over 80 branch outlets. It has been possible to detect counterfeit currency because of the deployment of stringent technology like light detectors,” stated B. Narasimha Nayak.
According to the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a proper detailed list of any fake currency detected is to be sent to the Nodal Police Station of the region, where furthermore procedures and investigation would be carried out by the police. “Earlier it was easier for us to detect a fake note with just the touch of hand. Nowadays the details are so fine, it has become difficult to detect,” quoted P. Arvind Shyamalan, a retired employee of the Syndicate Bank.
Having in place various measures in different banks across the country serves to tackle the problem of counterfeiting currency. M. Prakash Shetty, Senior Manager of Syndicate Bank Currency Chest explained, “The RBI has been responsible in its functioning when it comes to currency security. They keep on adding new features to the notes so that it becomes difficult to counterfeit”.
RBI had earlier sought the withdrawal of banknotes from the market, printed prior to 2005; the rationale being the fewer security features they contained as compared with banknotes printed after 2005. Having measures both at a physical and digital altar, recent years have seen a decrease in the circulation of such notes in the market. “We ensure that soiled or mutilated notes go off the market circulation. Such types of notes are sent to the Bengaluru CID office where they are destroyed,” elucidated M. Prakash Shetty.
Recent popularity of virtual currency has also brought up an easier solution to tackle the problem of currency counterfeiting. Off late, Syndicate Bank has also laid significant emphasis on the use of virtual currency. “The knowledge of plastic cards may not be highly prevalent in India, but I certainly believe if we start using credit cards, debit cards, cheques, demand drafts, and other mediums which does not involve direct cash transaction, we will easily be successful in curbing currency counterfeiting and also save a lot of time and money,” opined M. Prakash Shetty.
The RBI has also enabled significant measures when it comes to the technicalities of the notes such as latent imaging, micro lettering, intaglio printing, fluorescence visibility, etc. It is to be seen how in the coming days the problem of currency counterfeiting will be tackled, by the RBI and the Indian banks.
Edited by Antara Krishnamurthy