484 counterfeit euro banknotes found in first half of year
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In the first half of this year, 484 counterfeit euro banknotes were reported to the Central Bank of Malta, which counterfeits were all seized in circulation. Table 1 indicates the half-yearly figures of counterfeits recovered locally, split by “before circulation” (normally counterfeits seized by the police prior to circulation) and “in circulation.”
This amount of 484 is the lowest for any six-month period since the adoption of the euro. When compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation in Malta (slightly above 22 million on average for the first half of 2011), the proportion of euro counterfeits remains insignificant. It is also very low when compared to the number of counterfeits seized in the euro area in the same period, which according to the ECB’s press release issued on Monday 18 July, amounted to 295,553 pieces.
Similar to developments in the euro area as a whole, the €20 and €50 continue to be the most counterfeited denominations found locally. During the past six months, the share of the €20 counterfeit decreased whilst that of the €50 increased. These two most counterfeited denominations together accounted for 89% of the total during the first half of 2011.
Notwithstanding these positive trends, the Central Bank of Malta continues to advise the public to remain alert with regard to the banknotes received in cash transactions. Genuine banknotes can be easily recognised using the simple “FEEL-LOOK-TILT” test as can be found on the Bank’s website: http://www.centralbankmalta.org/site/counterfeit.html In case of doubt, however, a suspect banknote should be compared directly with one that is known to be genuine.