Notable decrease in counterfeit banknotes, Central Bank reports

Counterfeit banknotes circulating across Malta and Gozo in the first half of the year was 17% lower than the previous six months

There were 391 counterfeit notes withdrawn from circulation last year
There were 391 counterfeit notes withdrawn from circulation last year

The Central Bank of Malta has reported a notable decrease in the number of counterfeit euro banknotes in circulation in the first half of 2018.

There were 391 counterfeit notes withdrawn from circulation, figures out today showed. This was 17% lower than the figure for the previous six months (July to December 2017) and also lower than that reported in the same period of 2017 (January to June 2017).

The €20 and €50 bills were the most counterfeit denominations in Malta, which accounted for 74.2% of all counterfeits during the first half of 2018. When juxtaposed against the counterfeit developments in the rest of Europe the €5 bill in Malta was countefeited 4.7% more than the EU average and the €10 bill was counterfeited 8.5% more than the EU average.

Larger denominations, such as the €200 and €500 bills were well below the average counterfeited bills across the Euro area.

During the January to June 2018 period, the €10 denomination saw a slight increase in number of counterfeits from the previous six months.

The bank said that its officials were visiting a substantial number of day centres to deliver training on the recognition of counterfeit currency.

Genuine banknotes, it said, were easily identifiable via the "Feel-Look-Tilt" test, the description of which is found on the Central Bank of Malta's website. 

The European Central Bank will be releasing notes with new security features. These will be available in May next year.

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