‘Children Bank of India’ notes dispensed by ATM in Delhi First spotted in Ludhiana where a rickshaw-puller was deceived

At a time when people are struggling to get currency notes, an ATM in Sangam Vihar here dispensed fake Rs 2,000 notes. A call centre employee who had gone to withdraw Rs 8,000 from an SBI ATM in Sangam Vihar was in for a shock when the Rs 2000 notes from the machine bore the mark of “Children Bank of India”.  He had visited the SBI ATM at around 7.45pm on February 6 to withdraw Rs 8,000. But he noticed that all the notes were fake. He noticed the deliberate mistakes on the notes like ‘promise to pay the bearer two thousand coupons’ and ’Serial number 000000’ and immediately brought it to police’s notice after which a sub-inspector was sent to the ATM located at the T-Point of Tigri in Sangam Vihar. He also said that the notes had Rs 2000 printed in the same font as the original currency that was issued under the name of “Children’s Government”. It also had “Churan Patti” written in place of the watermark. The notes even bore a pledge which said “I promise to pay the bearer a slip of Rs 2000”. Senior police officers say that when the policeman probing the case tried to withdraw cash from the ATM, he too got similar bills, following which an FIR was registered under various Sections of forgery and cheating. The fake notes were first spotted in Ludhiana where a rickshaw-puller was deceived by a customer. In Ludhiana, one can buy a pack of 100 fake notes in the denomination of 100, 500, and even 2,000 at Rs 30 from a shopkeeper. Ram Vilas, a migrant from Bihar and a rickshaw-puller, was conned by a man who gave him a Rs 500 note of ‘Children Bank of India’. Not only this the rickshaw-puller, who had charged Rs 50 from the accused, returned Rs 450 to him. “Being an illiterate, I could not judge whether the note was real or fake. Since the colour of the note, size and other graphics were exactly like the original note, I accepted it. It was only after I gave it to a dhaba owner that I got to know that it was fake,” he said. Police said they had identified the culprits. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajiv Ranjan Singh told IANS that the vendor who supplied the cash to the ATM and the persons who inserted the fake notes had been identified. Asked why no arrest had been made so far, Singh said: “The case is still a matter of investigation. The moment everything is done, arrests shall take place.” On Wednesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the fake currency. “A Prime Minister who can’t even print notes properly; how can he run the country? He has reduced the whole nation into a laughing stock,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader tweeted. Experts say it is possible for an ATM to dispense even a simple sheet of paper if its size is the same as the currency notes. “Technically, yes. ATMs are not equipped to read the security features of notes. Only the size needs to be the same,” K. Srinivas, Managing Director BTI Payments, an RBI-licensed firm that operates cash dispensers not owned and managed by banks. — With IANS inputs