The demonetisation of Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 notes has created quite a buzz in the country. But in Kerala, the government itself took out a day-long protest against the Centre’s decision. Kerala has been among the States where there is a strong flow of counterfeit currency in the economy. This can be verified by the sharp increase in cases related to counterfeit currency in the recent years. The State police reportedly seized fake currency worth around Rs. 8-9 lakh in the first half of this year itself. A startling revelation from the NIA, which was investigating eight of these cases, has pointed to the involvement of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in smuggling counterfeit currency to Kerala.
The agency reported that the fake Indian currency circulated in the State was printed at Quetta district in Pakistan, with the aid of Inter-Services Intelligence, and made its way to Kerala through the Middle East and Bangladesh. The NIA submitted a report on the same to the NIA Ernakulam Court, in which it revealed that Dawood’s brother Anees Ibrahim and his close friend Aftaf Bhatkal were responsible for the racket. They helped Tahir Taklya, an accused in the 1993 Bombay blast case, to smuggle the fakes notes into Kerala.
According to a report in Deccan Chronicle, the NIA made these submissions on the remand report of Tahir, who is also the main accused in the Taliparamba counterfeit smuggling case.
The Times of India, in a similar report, mentioned the following:
“In another smuggling case, registered in 2013 at Nedumbassery, NIA had found that Malayali smugglers had been getting fake notes from Dawood Ibrahim’s syndicate in Pakistan by paying genuine currency in exchange since 2007.”
Apart from Deccan Chronicle and The Times of India, The New Indian Express and Firstpost too mentioned about Dawood’s involvement in their articles on the impact of demonetisation and the fake currency system in Kerala.
Surprisingly, there has been no mention of the NIA’s report in any of the mainstream vernacular media outlets in the State. The Kochi Post tried contacting the editors of mainstream Malayalam media houses like Deepika, Mangalam, Kaumudi, Janayugam, Janmabhumi, Deshabhimani, Mathrubhumi and Malayala Manorma. However, none of them were available to comment on why the media in the State has neglected such an important news that has serious implications on the State’s economy
The authorities at the NIA Ernakulam Court were not available to comment on the issue.
Main photograph by Partha Sarathy Sahana via Flickr.