Residents urged to exercise vigilance in order to detect counterfeit notes

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The police are appealing to the public, especially members of the business community to be on the look out for fake currency notes.
Speaking with OBSERVER media in response to a report of counterfeit notes that are now in circulation, Inspector Frankie Thomas said the public had been forewarned to be on the lookout for illegal tenders that are usually in circulation during Carnival and other festive seasons.
The counterfeit notes that are reportedly in circulation are ECD $100 and $50 notes with serial numbers VW033672 and SR380132 respectively. Residents can view the features of authentic EC Currency notes on the central bank’s website.
“We had been preemptive in warning the public of this, and I want the general public to step up their alertness, become more familiar with the EC currency. Get to know what a legal tender looks and feels like as opposed to a counterfeit,” he said.
Inspector Thomas said he is aware of the effects counterfeit notes have on victims and assured the public that it is the ongoing mission of the police department to arrest and charge originators of this crime. However, like all other crimes, the police are appealing for the public’s help in nabbing perpetrators.
“We have been successful in prosecuting persons in the past found in possession of counterfeit notes so we implore the public: do not hesitate in reporting the matter to the police immediately,” he said. “Let us launch an investigation and in short order deal with those persons who are responsible for those illegal tenders.”
An Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) advisory alerted the general public to the trend that occurs particularly during the carnival season and other times of heightened festivities within the region.
The ECCB reminded the public that counterfeit notes do not have any value and it is a criminal offense to try to pass them.
Taxi drivers, service stations, promoters at festive events, and vendors are among some of the most vulnerable for receiving the fake cash.
A cab driver who wishes to be anonymous, said it was after he took a passenger to the airport and was ready to spend the “fruit of his labour” that he realised he was paid with a counterfeit note. He lamented that his $50 service was of no profit to him.
Service station owners across the island have complained that they, too, have unwittingly received counterfeit notes.
Alex Barnes, supervisor at Barnes Service Station told the OBSERVER media, they are getting better at identifying counterfeit notes but they have been victims of the crime.
“Many times, we are able to detect these fake notes but sometimes one and two slip through. Even though it may not exceed $100 in day a loss is still a loss,” he said.
Anthon Went, promoter of Mojitos said they have put preventive measures in place to deter counterfeiters.
“I believe when you have visible security systems in place, persons with fake currencies are afraid to use them,” he said.

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