Printed in Pakistan and pushed into India through the India-Bangladesh border, the Border Security Force (BSF) last week seized at least 40 fake notes of Rs 2000.

Recent seizures and arrests were made by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Border Security Force (BSF).

On February 8 in Murshidabad, the amount was seized from Azizur Rahman (26), who hails from Malda in West BengaL. Sources said Rahman, who was carrying 40 fake notes of Rs 2,000 denomination, told investigators that they had been printed in Pakistan, allegedly with the help of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), and had been smuggled across the border from Bangladesh.

Further, according to interrogation records, smugglers were required to pay Rs 400-600 in genuine currency for each fake Rs 2,000 note, depending on the quality.

A study by investigators and experts of the seized notes revealed that at least 11 of the 17 security features in the new Rs 2,000 notes had been replicated. They included the transparent area, watermark, Ashoka Pillar emblem, the letters ‘Rs 2000’ on the left, the guarantee clause with the RBI governor’s signature and the denomination number in Devanagari on the front.

The motif of Chandrayaan, the Swachh Bharat logo and the year of printing had been copied on the reverse side. The seized notes had the water mark and a crackling sound, similar to genuine currency, said officials. Except the fact that the quality of counterfeit notes was poor, they resembled the genuine notes.

The first seizures of such notes were recorded on January 22 and on February 4, when Piyarul Sheikh (16) and Digamber Mondol (42), both from Kaliachak in Malda, were arrested by the local police and NIA.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced his demonetisation move on November, 2016. All Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes were scrapped to flush out high-denomination fake currency, mostly printed in Pakistan and circulated in India to destabilise the economy. This January, the government reported that the two main printing presses engaged in printing counterfeit Indian currency in Pakistan had been forced to shut.