Kosovo overrun with counterfeits

Law enforcement agencies in Kosovo have sounded the alarm about the widespread use of counterfeit euro coins in the Southeast European country.

While Kosovo does not belong to the eurozone – a currency union of 20 member states of the European Union – the country uses the euro as its currency. According to a Sept. 21 Reuters report, employees at a cafe in Kosovo’s capital of Pristina have stopped checking whether two-euro coins used for payments are genuine “as such a high proportion are fake and as the high quality of some counterfeits makes it almost impossible to tell.”

The number of fake two-euro coins in circulation has seen a massive increase this year, with police officers at the Pristina forensic lab examining more than 30,000 counterfeit examples—an increase of more than 25,000 fakes compared to last year.

“The quality ranges from very poor to very good,” Vjollca Mavriqi, a counterfeit money expert working at the lab, told Reuters. “Before, the fake coins were not magnetic and now they are. Before, they had issues with weight but now they match the genuine ones.”

While the Royal Canadian Mint claims coin counterfeiting is rare in modern-day Canada, the pre-Confederation colony of Lower Canada (now Québec) served as “a mecca of counterfeiting in the early 19th century,” according to CCN token columnist Tim Grawey.

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