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Dye-stained euros come from cash van raids – gardai

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Conor Feehan at the launch of the Banknote Watch website. Photo: Doug O'Connor

Conor Feehan at the launch of the Banknote Watch website. Photo: Doug O'Connor

Conor Feehan at the launch of the Banknote Watch website. Photo: Doug O'Connor

BANKNOTES covered in dye are likely to have come from cash-in-transit raids, gardai have warned.

In a new initiative – Bank-notewatch – to thwart criminals, gardai are now asking retailers, business people and shoppers not to accept them.

The notes became stained when raiders broke open the cash boxes in which they are transported and set off a canister of exploding dye.

With the recent upsurge in cash-in-transit robberies, hundreds of thousands of euros have fallen into the hands of criminal gangs.

The money is virtually worthless when the dye-bomb inside the security boxes goes off.

However, criminals have still been known to try to offload some of the cash at night in taxis and bars, or by explaining that they were stained when wine was spilled on them.

"A dye-stained banknote is probably a stolen bank note," said Assistant Garda Commissioner Derek Byrne.

"We want to block the criminal and close down any avenues they have for profiting from crime."

As part of the drive to raise awareness of stained notes, people who have any are asked to take them to a bank, post office or credit union where they can be exchanged for valid notes.

Ann Purcell of G4S security said: "Some raiders are under the impression that, if they freeze the boxes, the dye will solidify and they can break them open and get the money.

"But the boxes have temperature monitors; the dye explodes if the cash box is cooled or heated beyond set temperatures.

"They are also shock-proof, so if somebody tries to force them open the dye goes off," she added.

Banknotewatch.ie was set up in conjunction with gardai after a number of dye-stained bank-notes were discovered in circulation from recent robberies.

The number of cash-in-transit robberies has more than doubled since 2010, when 21 such raids were recorded by the Central Statistics Office. Last year's figure was 49.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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