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Central Bank: No information on fake currency

Saturday, January 23, 2016
A participant at a Know Your Money seminar hosted by the Central Bank uses a magnifying glass to examine security features on a $100 bill. PHOTO: SEAN NERO

The Central Bank has no evidence of counterfeit $50 bills being circulated in the country. Alister Noel, senior manager of operations, said although a video is being circulated which claims to show a counterfeit $50 polymer bill in circulation and there have been media reports about it, the Central Bank has no such information.

Responding to questions during a Know Your Money seminar in Port-of-Spain, Noel said: “Just like you, we would have read these things in the newspapers and saw some of the things on social media. We were never in possession of a counterfeit bill.”

He added: “We are not saying there can never be a counterfeit polymer note, we are saying some may try, but from our end and as part of risk management of the country from our end, it is in our interest as users of the currency that we get familiar with the currency.”

Noel said citizens who came into possession of fake currency should make a report to the Fraud Squad Division of the T&T Police Service, the authority to deal such incidents. 

Barnaby Dicks, regional manager of currency at London-based De La Rue and facilitator of the seminar, said it was not enough for citizens to just put money in their wallets or purses and not know whether the notes were authentic. He said knowing the feel, look and tilt of money in hand was the sure way for citizens to be assured that their wealth had not been compromised.

Seminar participants were told that while polymer was the new material on which money was printed, cotton was still popular on the world market. They were provided with specimen $50 and $100 bills and, using magnifying glasses and ultraviolet lights, were shown techniques to identify whether the currencywas of value or worthless.

“More and more central banks are taking up polymer (notes). The main benefit of polymer is that it is very durable. If you look at the United Kingdom you will see that this year they are moving the five pound note to polymer and they have announced they will be introducing the ten pound note. You look at Asian countries, they are doing the same. There are certain Asian countries that have a whole family of polymer (notes),” Dicks said.

“There is no set requirement. It is about what the country feels is the best at that particular time. There are certain countries that have their lower currencies in polymer and there are countries that have their higher currencies in polymer.”


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