387,000 forged euro notes recovered
Published 19/07/2010 | 11:46
Some 387,000 forged euro banknotes were taken out of circulation across Europe in the first half of the year, official figures show.
The European Central Bank (ECB) said the amount of fake cash recovered had fallen by 13pc.
About 85pc of the counterfeits seized by authorities or handed into banks were 20 and 50 euro notes, while 12pc were 100 euro notes.
"During the past six months, the share of counterfeit 20 euro banknotes decreased and the share of 50 euro banknotes increased," the ECB said.
"Almost equal numbers of each denomination were recovered during the first half of 2010, together accounting for almost 85pc of the total.
The 100 euro banknote is the third most counterfeited denomination at 12pc of the total."
Only 1pc of the forgeries are five euro or 500 euro - the biggest and smallest denominations.
The ECB also said the counterfeit rate remained very low with a total of 13.2 billion genuine euro banknotes in use in the first half of the year. More than 98pc of forged notes were seized in the eurozone.
Tony Farrell, chief executive of the Money Point cash management company, called on Ireland to up its game to tackle counterfeiting.
"Across the political spectrum, there is agreement that this is an issue of concern for the general public, and also for Ireland's reputation across Europe," Mr Farrell said.
The cash expert said finance houses, Credit Unions, banks and building societies have a huge part to play by ensuring all banknotes issued over the counter or through ATMs are fit for circulation.
By January next year new European rules state that all financial institutions must ensure all notes they handle are genuine and may be subject to spot checks.