Counterfeiting is economic terrorism, but terrorism none the less. When your adversary is economically becoming stronger it will mean that the adversary will also become militarily stronger and powerful, a situation to the detriment of the host country.
Pakistan’s ISI has systematically tried to weaken India by supporting insurgencies in India, opening of caste and religious divide in the society and also good old terrorism in Kashmir and elsewhere. Where it has played with finesse is in the counterfeiting department.
Before this, I cannot resist a little history : OPERATION BERNHARD
Only a fortnight after the start of World War II, at a meeting that has remained a secret for more than half a century, officials of German finance and Nazi espionage approved an audacious plot to bring down the world's financial system. Hundreds of millions of forged British pounds were to become a weapon of war. Operation Bernhard not only became the greatest counterfeit scheme in history but the most wide-ranging and bizarre, with its own gallery of rogues.
COUNTERFEIT £5 NOTE MADE BY THE NAZIS
Major Bernhard Krueger, a meticulously correct SS engineer, ran a production line of Jewish prisoners in Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. The millions of forged notes they printed were laundered through a Nazi confidence man with the help of Jewish agents who concealed their origins. Toward the end, one of Europe 's most accomplished professional forgers, the only career criminal in the operation, was brought in to counterfeit dollar bills.
Bernhard Krueger as a young SS officer (left), and in a mug shot taken by the British after the war. Photo Credit: British National Archives
In London, the arrogant grandees at the Bank of England could not believe their pound notes could be forged with such expertise and in such quantity. Even George Soros, the great speculator who broke the Bank of England fifty years later, almost got bilked as a boy on the Budapest black market. In one of the crowning ironies of many, after the war Golda Meir protected a millionaire Jewish money-launderer from British authorities in what was then known as Palestine.
The plot was hatched in Berlin on September 18, 1939, behind the imposing stone facade of what had once been Kaiser Wilhelm's Finance Ministry. Walther Funk, a pudgy former financial journalist whose principal task was keeping German industry in Hitler's camp, was the only one to register the least objection because he feared the counterfeit notes would upset his task of milking Hitler's conquered territories. Josef Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, was not present but feared the "grotesque plan" might be turned against Germany 's own fragile finances by the Allies. In fact, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt toyed with the idea of counterfeiting enemy currency but their advisers rejected it.
Nevertheless, the minds of Nazi espionage believed they could weaken the pound as the trading standard and store of value underpinning the British Empire. Bullies and incompetents were at first put in charge of the operation. After several false starts, Krueger, a textile engineer, figured out how to match the paper, printing, and design of the impressive British notes. He found his forgers in Jewish death camps on the orders of SS Reichsfuehrer Heinrich Himmler. Some were plucked from Auschwitz by Krueger himself, who courteously addressed them with the formal German Sie.
The SS planned to keep the operation secret by killing them when the job was done. The prisoners worked with the knowledge that they were marked for death when they had finished their jobs. " From the start, they wondered whether they should stretch out their work and risk execution for sabotage, or perform efficiently and thus hasten their own deaths. No one ever knew for sure where Krueger stood, but by keeping the operation going, he kept himself from being sent to the Russian front. What all these men said and thought as they lived under this sword of Damocles makes chilling, personal drama.
From 1942 to 1945, the Germans forged more pound notes than all the reserves in the vaults of the Bank of England--132 million pounds, equal to about 15 per cent of all genuine notes in circulation and enough to cast suspicion on all of England 's paper money. They were worth $650 million at the wartime rate of exchange and six or seven billion dollars in today's money.
By 1943 the Luftwaffe was almost kaput, so instead of pursuing their original goal of dropping the counterfeits on England to cast suspicion on real pound notes, the SS used the fakes to finance its own espionage service--whose discoveries Hitler ignored like all bad news--and to undermine and eventually absorb the German military's own intelligence corps. The SS specialized mainly in dirty tricks and, true to the nature of the Nazis' gangster regime, in skimming money to enrich themselves. So many counterfeit pounds flooded the black markets on the European continent and North Africa that Britain's currency came under widespread suspicion abroad, and its value plunged.The British defense was as weak as it was unprecedented. Normally nations at war guard their currency by prohibiting its export. Instead, the British imposed a wartime blockade on bringing pounds into the country to prevent the counterfeits from infecting the economy. Scotland Yard was powerless, and so was Interpol. Its Vienna headquarters had fallen into Hitler's hands when he swallowed Austria in 1938. The Nazis even fooled Swiss bankers, whom the British left swinging in the wind rather than let their secret defenses against counterfeits become known.
By the end of the war, Operation Bernhard had left its imprint. Through one of the Jewish money launderers, the Jewish underground passed on thousands of counterfeits to help the ingathering of exiles to Palestine and the purchase of war materiel for the nascent Israeli army. The Bank of England was so embarrassed by the massive counterfeit that it not only burned the fakes but some of its files. In the continuing and futile search for Nazi loot and bank records deep in the Alpine lakes where the SS dumped millions of forged bills, the financial and political ripples continued into this century.
Times of India: Though the role of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI in printing and circulation of FICN (Fake Indian Currency Notes) has never been a secret, sleuths recently found that the spy agency had, of late, impressed upon the government in Islamabad to import additional currency-standard printing paper from companies located in London to pursue its nefarious designs in India.
Pakistan has been procuring currency-standard printing paper in huge quantities from London-based companies — much higher than normal requirement of the country for printing its own currency — for diverting it to print FICN.
The ISI has, in fact, been using state air-carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to tansport counterfeit currency to its conduits in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, sources in investigating agencies said.
The modus operandi of the ISI was revealed by two Nepali counterfeit currency traffickers who were arrested by Thailand police in October 2008. During interrogation, the accused disclosed that they were working for a prominent Nepali businessman who was the son of a former minister in King Gyanendra's regime. “The fact that Nepali territory is being used by Pakistanis to smuggle counterfeit currency is well known. The first such expose was made when Pakistani diplomats were caught distributing FICN in Nepal,” an official said.
According to a recent Government estimate, counterfeit currency amounting to Rs 169,000 crore (USD 36,000 MILLION) is floating around in the Indian financial system. From real estate transactions to ordinary grocery shopping, these bogus notes are being deployed everyday — sometimes innocently, sometimes with a sinister objective. “In 2008, the CBI registered 13 cases having international/ inter-State ramifications relating to the recovery/ seizure of fake Indian currency notes,” says Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) spokesperson Harsh Bhal.
Intelligence agencies see the counterfeit rupee attack as a form of “economic terrorism”. They have traced many of the fake currency operations back to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and its ancillary crime syndicates such as the Dawood Ibrahim gang. With a multi-layered network in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka and also inside India, counterfeit notes enter India in all three ways — through land, sea and air.
Intelligence officials say the ISI uses terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT), the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) to smuggle and circulate counterfeit currency in India.
Dangerously, the counterfeiters have managed to find their way into the official banking system. “Perhaps there is no better way to pummel India’s economy,” says an intelligence official. He explains the modus operandi. Fake currency operatives usually deposit the notes during peak hours when bank tellers are pressed for time and liable to make mistakes.
Fake currency amounting to nearly Rs 3 crore was found in the chest of the State Bank of India’s Domariaganj branch in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddarthnagar district. Some fake notes were also found in the currency chest of ICICI Bank’s Sanjay Place branch in Agra. The examples can go on.
Where are the fake notes printed? A CBI report to the Finance Ministry suggested that the Pakistan Government printing press in Quetta (Baluchistan) was churning out large quantities of counterfeit Indian currency.
Karachi’s security press, and two other presses in Lahore and Peshawar, have also been suspected.
The fine quality of Pakistan-produced fake currency has alarmed India. Printed on security paper, the sophistication and craftsmanship is of a high order. “Only a specialist can make out the notes as counterfeit,” says an intelligence official. The fake notes duplicate serial numbers and floral designs of genuine notes. In addition, they even have the security wire or “guide wire” — the common man’s mode of authenticating a currency note.
However, in the larger reckoning, the problem remains. If and when India does decide to take action against Pakistan-based terror, it may find that it is not enough to destroy merely military camps. A certain currency printing press in Quetta may also need to be blown up!
China loses no chance to undermine India at international for a, be if for surreptitious moves during the Nuclear Deal or blocking Maulana Massod’s Azhar’s terrorist tag in the UN (though this was together with UK) or the more blatant vetoing of ADB loan of US$60 million to India because there was a reference to Arunachal Pradesh.
But what takes the cake is this Nigerian Tribune News dated 6th June 2009. It states: “A clearing agent(names withheld) has been apprehended by the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) over his involvement in the importation of fake malaria drugs (Maloxine and Amalar tablets) worth N32.1million.
He was arrested at Kirikiri Terminal in Lagos while attempting to clear a container load of the drugs marked PCIU 2184458 which was imported by Divine Favour Overseas limited of 41, Tejuosho Street, Yaba.
According to the Director-Genral of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, who disclosed this at a press conference in Lagos on Monday, the arrest and subsequent seizure of the drugs followed a text message from an informant on the development.
He said the fake products were produced in China but labelled “Made in India,” adding that the laboratory analysis of the drugs had revealed that it lacked an important active ingredient called pyrimenthamine.
The NAFDAC boss said the seizure was significant in view of the emergence of resistance strain of malaria parasites, saying the use of the fake drugs might lead to treatment failure, anaemia and death if no effective drug was given after.”
Bear in mind, The Indian pharmaceutical industry’s exports to Africa are worth $1,065 million a year and undermining that will suit China.
It is worth noting that multinational EU / US drug manufacturers who are hardest with the cheap Indian generic drugs, started a smear campaign in Africa that Indian generic drugs are fake. They forgot to mention that the fake ones are MADE IN CHINA.
How India helps : It costs about $15,000 a year to treat a patient with patented medicines. But the cost of the same treatment with generic drugs is just $300.
the Indian industry supplies quality drugs at one-tenth the cost of patented drugs. Over 15 per cent of India’s drug exports go to Africa. “And nearly a fifth of Africa’s $4.86 billion drug imports imports annually are from India.
A worthy target for economic terrorism. As China tries to increase its sphere of influence deeper into Africa, probably it makes economic sense to kill off India's entry to other sectors including oil, gas, coal, gemstones, other industries by sullying its name.