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News - Media Releases 2016

08/02/2016

Bi-annual information on euro banknote counterfeiting in Malta

In the second half of 2015, the number of counterfeit euro banknotes reported to the Central Bank of Malta amounted to 2,569 pieces. This brought the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation for the whole of 2015 to 4,930 pieces (2014: 1,497 pieces). This amount includes a substantial police seizure of counterfeit notes which occurred in May 2015 amounting to 1,075 pieces.

When compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation in Malta (slightly above 10.97 million on average for the second half of 2015), the proportion of euro counterfeits remains insignificant. It is also low (0.58%) as a proportion of the total number of counterfeits seized in the euro area as a whole over the same period which, according to the European Central Bank's press release issued on Friday 22 January, amount to 445,000 pieces.

Of all the fake euro banknotes seized in Malta over the second half of the year, the €20 denomination continues to be the most counterfeited denomination with 41.9% of all seized counterfeits. During this period, the share of the €50 increased while that of the €100 denomination fell drastically. However, the market share of the €10 denomination continues to rise significantly and now accounts for 31.6% of all pieces found in circulation.

The table below provides a percentage breakdown by denomination, of the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation in the second half of 2015 compared to those withdrawn in the euro area as a whole.

 

 

€5

€10

€20

€50

€100

€200

€500

Percentage Breakdown

Euro area

1.1

3.0

46.2

37.1

10.1

1.2

1.3

Malta

0.1

31.6

41.9

23.9

2.3

0.1

0.1

Notwithstanding the low figures of counterfeits reported locally, 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, which is described on the Bank's website. The Bank is available to provide any support, including training to any local entities which may require such assistance.

In the area of professional cash handlers, the Bank has continued with its certification programme through its cash and anti-money laundering e-learning modules. Additionally in order to support the general public in the recognition of suspect counterfeit currency, the Bank has issued a publication highlighting the main security features of genuine euro currency which is available from the Bank.

Anyone who receives a suspect note should contact either the Police on 2122 4001 or the Central Bank of Malta on 2550 6012/13 or on the Bank's e-mail address.

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