Suspects arrested with almost N$30 000 in counterfeit notes

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Windhoek – The Bank of Namibia (BoN) has reacted strongly to a video circulating on social media showing three men conducting a crude counterfeiting operating in Katutura. In the video three suspects are seen using a basic photo copy/printer/scanner machine to counterfeit 200 and 100 Namibia dollar banknotes.

The police have confirmed the authenticity of the video.

“The value of the counterfeit money is N$28 100, of which N$5 000 was half-printed. Only three genuine bank notes were discovered at the scene with a total value of N$500. All the counterfeits have been confiscated by the police and hence have not been released into circulation.

“The counterfeit notes reproduced are of poor quality and therefore knowing the security features on Namibian bank notes will easily prevent counterfeiters from defrauding unsuspecting public members,” said BoN director of strategic communications and financial sector development Emma Haiyambo.

The three male Namibian suspects were caught red-handed by the police at one of the suspect’s corrugated iron shack in Oshitenda, Ombili in Katutura, where they were buy reproducing the counterfeit banknotes.

A tip-off from the public led the police to the suspects, who were consequently arrested last Wednesday. They appeared in court on Thursday, January 12 in connection with contravening Section 25 of the Bank of Namibia Act, read together with the Prevention of Counterfeit Currency Act (16) of 1965.

“As far as can be ascertained, no financial loss has been incurred by any individual or institution. Most importantly, none of the security features which appear on the Namibian banknotes have been reproduced on the counterfeited banknotes,” Haiyambo observed.

BoN has urged members of the public to follow three basic steps in checking the security features on banknotes.

Step 1: Look. Take a careful look at the overall colours, the portraits and serial numbers and lift the banknotes up to the light to view the perfect see-through features and watermarks.

Step 2: Tilt. This involves flipping the banknotes to check for colour-changing, dynamic features and for glossy prints. Check the multi-coloured security thread on the reverse.

Step 3: Feel. Feel the unique banknote touch and raised prints by running your fingers on both sides of the banknotes, especially on the words BANK OF NAMIBIA; main portraits and the Braille dots for the visually impaired people.

The BoN has also requested members of the public to share any information regarding counterfeiting activities wherever they may occur to protect the integrity of our currency.

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