Counterfeits prevalent around the world

Counterfeit money remains a challenge for central banks as the vast majority of respondents in a global survey reported removing fake banknotes from circulation this year.

Of the 31 respondents in Currency Benchmarks 2022, published by the U.K.-based Central Banking Institute, 29 central banks (94 per cent) encountered fake bills in their respective country’s money supply. The average number of fake notes removed from circulation in the various countries was 21,305.

“The average value of counterfeit banknotes was $424,847,” reads the report. “At the high end of the range was a large middle-income nation.”

In April, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) seized $1 million worth of counterfeit $100 banknotes after the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted a suspicious package. The RCMP investigation revealed two people from Gatineau, Qué., imported the fake notes from abroad via an online seller.

The National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau (NACB), responsible for examining and destroying all counterfeit banknotes seized in Canada, identified the fakes as “novelty” notes. According to the NACB database, it was the largest seizure of “novelty” notes with anticipated charges since 2001.

This September, the RCMP arrested another four people in New Brunswick and seized counterfeiting equipment and fake money after a month-long investigation.

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