The Central Bank of Malta reported that there was an increase in the number of counterfeit euro banknotes withdrawn in the first half of 2019.
At 844 pieces, the overall quantity of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation was higher than the aggregate in the previous six months (July to December 2018) and also higher than that reported in the same period of 2018 (January to June).
However, while the amount of counterfeits increased during this period, the overall seizures during 2017 and 2018 remain substantially below the amounts reported in the previous years.
When compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation in Malta (slightly above 12.16 million on average for the first half of 2019), the proportion of euro counterfeits remains insignificant. It is also low (0.33%) as a proportion of the total number of counterfeits seized in the euro area as a whole over the same period, amounting to 251,000 pieces.
€20 and €50 notes most counterfeited
In line with developments in the euro area, the €20 and €50 notes continue to be the most counterfeited denominations found locally. These two denominations together accounted for 89% of all counterfeits during the first half of 2019. During this period, the share of the €10 denomination experienced a slight decrease.
Notwithstanding the low figures of counterfeits reported locally, the Central Bank of Malta continued to advise the public to remain alert with regard to 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.
Anyone who receives a suspect note should contact either the Police by calling on 2294 2120, or the Central Bank of Malta on 2550 6012/13, or by sending an e-mail at the Bank’s e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.