Counterfeit currency on the rise in Canada

January 5th, 2009 - 12:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Jan 5 (IANS) Counterfeiting of currency notes is increasing in Canada and fake $20 and $100 notes worth $5 million were estimated to be in circulation by the third quarter of last year, says a Canadian Press report.Quoting a Bank of Canada internal document, the report said counterfeit currency has almost doubled since 2007.

Fake $100 notes constituted about 55 percent of all counterfeit currency in circulation till September last year, the report said, adding that most of these counterfeited notes have been reported in Toronto and Montreal.

To make them look genuine, the counterfeiters have managed to plant a metallic stripe in the fake $100 notes.

Police have warned that criminals have created these fake $100 notes by ripping the metallic strip from low-denomination notes.

The criminals may have managed to get these mangled low-denomination notes - stripped of the metallic strip - exchanged for new ones at bank branches.

Cases of $100 fake notes being successfully passed have been reported in the Canadian capital of Ottawa.

Counterfeiting has been reported since 2002, peaking in 2004 when 500 notes for every one million notes were estimated to be fake. But the current hike in fake high-denomination $100 notes has worried the central bank.

Police say this has been facilitated by the availability of sophisticated printers and digital tools to criminals.

To counter the problem, the Bank of Canada has introduced stringent security features into the notes.

According to the bank, the number of fake $100 notes in circulation is falling and is below the threshold of 100 per one million notes.

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