WINDHOEK - Bank of Namibia is offering N$50 000 to any person for credible information that will lead to the seizure of equipment used in the production of counterfeit new banknotes and which will lead to the arrest of the criminal masterminds behind the scam.
The central bank maintains that the counterfeit money is of poor quality and that the actual money reproduced is “very low to be a cause of concern”.
However, the reward is being offered “in order to decisively deal with the main culprit behind these criminal activities”, the central bank said.
Criminals started reproducing counterfeit money only a few days after the new banknotes began circulating on May 15 this year.
About 19 banknotes with a face value of N$1,720 have thus far been detected and confiscated. Several arrests have been made in the case.
Even though the public’s general reaction to the new banknotes has been positive, some people complained about the absence of borderlines on the new notes, which the old notes have.
Comments such as “I like it”, “it is different but feels and looks good”, to “I do not like it”, and “it looks like Monopoly money”, surfaced hours after the new notes appeared in public.
Most of the commentary took place on the social networks, where the Windhoek commercial radio station, Radiowave, hosted a topic on the new notes on the day the money went into circulation.
More than 40 people participated in the social network discussion chaired by the radio station.
“I actually like [the new notes]. It looks a lot better than the old ones,” commented a Windhoek mother. Another commentator found the new notes to have a resemblance to “Euro notes”.
“I was not very happy when they first said it was going to change, but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to find [the new notes] of rather high quality. I cannot say I am fond of the 10 notes and 20 notes yet, but the new money looks and feels nice [with] a hint of the Euro note to it for me. I like it I guess,” was another comment.
But there were those who felt differently though. “It is not that I do not like it, but it looks a bit fake, like play money, but nice either way. Maybe should have kept the border around it though,” was another comment.
Some said the new notes feel “a bit fake” and there would be a “need to get used to them”.
Other commentators said the notes reminds of “plastic Tanzanian [shillings] notes”, they “are a bit strange” and “look like Monopoly money”.