shiba nanda basu
KOLKATA, 27 JUNE: The arrest of a youth by the city police has revealed that criminals involved in trans-border crimes are engaging unemployed youths to push drugs and fake currency across the international border.
A senior officer of the city police said the crime pattern related to counterfeit Indian currency notes has changed in the recent past following tight vigil by the Special Task Force (STF) of the city police. The matter came to light after the arrest of Solaiman Majumder, alias Majumder Babu, who was arrested in 2010 and again in September 2012. According to an internal report of the city police, dealers in counterfeit notes are using the India-Bangladesh border to run their business, which also has links with Pakistan-based intelligence agency ISI. Even cross-border drug cartels are involved in the counterfeit currency business, said a senior officer of city police.
Investigating the matter, the STF found that after Solaiman was released on bail, he went to Pakistan and met ISI agents. The purpose of the visit was to utilise funds collected through counterfeit note trafficking in cross-border terrorism, the report stated. A senior officer of the STF said that they have specific inputs that cross-border drug cartels are involving youths from the border areas to distribute drugs and counterfeit currency.
Earlier, the Central intelligence agencies found that Kolkata has become a transit hub as well as a destination for heroin and hashish. In addition, various psychotropic and pharmaceutical preparations produced domestically as well as in various parts of the world are also trafficked through the border areas, said the officer. The rampant peddling of drugs and distribution of counterfeit currency notes not only violate India&’s borders, but also pose a significant threat to national security, the officer added. The report found that money generated through the drug trade has been used to fund various insurgent and terrorist movements in the country. In the past 12 months the STF had arrested several Indian nationals from the city and districts who are residents of India-Bangladesh border areas, including Malda, Mursidabad and Raiganj. Interrogating them police found that they work as agents for the groups without knowing the mastermind behind the racket, the officer said.
The report said that the consignments of counterfeit notes from Pakistan enters Bangladesh from where handlers shift them to Malda and Murshidabad using rustlers and local people from border areas. It is in this phase that local people got involved, though they are paid very small amounts of money. “Another problem is that drug trafficking along with counterfeit notes facilitate other organised crimes, including human trafficking and arms smuggling. The same networks and routes are used to smuggle people, arms and contraband drugs,” the officer said.