Acting on a tip-off, the Border Security Force (BSF) this morning seized fake Indian currency notes (FICN) of Rs 12 lakh from a lorry that was returning from Bangladesh after delivering goods there.
The notes were hidden in the cavity of the rear wheels of the vehicle, while the BSF apprehended the same at the border checkpoint of Mahadipur under the English Bazaar police station in Malda.
The driver was apprehended and handed over to the STF, Kolkata, along with the fake notes of 500 denomination.
However, as the BSF officials made the seizures, they were surprised by what they called the “new way” in which the notes were being smuggled into India.
“The manner in which the notes were being smuggled is not only unprecedented, but it also implies to a huge possibility of arms being smuggled in that fashion,” an officer of the intelligence wing of the BSF said.
The BSF also said there was an urgent need of scanners to be installed at the immigration check posts (ICP), though the responsibility of checking vehicles lies with the customs department.
According to the press release issued by Rabi Ranjan, the second in-command at the South Bengal Frontier of the BSF, they started search operations in the lorry as soon as it reached Mahadipur from Sonamasjid in Bangladesh.
The BSF conducted the joint search with the STF Kolkata, the agency that was specifically tipped off about such smuggling, it is learnt.
“A plastic packet containing 2400 fake notes of 500 denomination was tied to an iron beam in the cavity of the rear wheels of the lorry. The driver of the vehicle, Nur Alam Shaikh, of Mahadipur was apprehended, who along with the the seized items, was later handed over to the STF Kolkata,” the BSF said.
“Among the modes of smuggling of FICN on the border, the popular ones are packets thrown to the Indian side from Bangladesh over the barbed wire fencing and peddlers carrying them, but the notes tied to the wheels is a new thing in the area,” sources said.
In the release, the BSF has expressed special concern about the matter. “Perhaps a huge amount of FICN, arms, explosives, gold and many other things have already been smuggled in this manner as thousands of lorries pass through the 15 ICPs under the South Bengal Frontier,” sources added.
The DIG, BSF, South Bengal Frontier, SS Guleria, said, “The matter is of grave concern and I would appeal to other law enforcement agencies to employ their skills and efforts to stop these antinational activities through the borders. We have already sent our proposal to the Union Ministry to install scanners at these ICPs for better vigilance.”