Thursday’s bust of a counterfeit money operation which recovered more than Tk1 crore in fake notes is a reminder of the extent of this danger in the country.
The bust happens just ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, when a tremendous amount of cash is expected to switch hands. Individuals, then, would do well to keep a watchful eye on larger banknotes during this season -- counterfeiters are known to be more active around the Eid holiday season.
The improvement in the quality of the fake notes is a cause for alarm. Gone are days when the average person could tell a note was fake with a quick glance. Nowadays, sophisticated printing machines are used to forge fake banknotes.
These high quality forgeries, which are made with imported paper, look very much like genuine banknotes, contain watermarks and the long thread of banknotes, and are almost impossible to spot just by looking.
The key to spotting them is to note if the colour comes off when rubbed with wet fingers.
It is imperative for our law enforcement apparatus to take seriously the size and influence of counterfeiting operations, and crack down on them accordingly.
Countefeiters today are operating within sophisticated networks and are backed by powerful syndicates. Their contacts include bank officials, who lend their expertise in creating convincing fakes, and foreign connections from countries like Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Bangladesh needs to make the right kind of technological investments to find and root out money counterfeiting networks on a large scale. Furthermore, global experts can be consulted about putting more security features into new banknotes in the long term.
In the meantime, every citizen should stay vigilant against this growing menace.