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Aussie counterfeiters keep up with new notes

Friday, 29 March 2019
By Wayne Robinson

Still being forged: Australian banknotes

Despite the multitude of new security devices on Australia’s new banknotes counterfeiters are still operating successfully, although the number of counterfeit banknotes hitting the streets is falling.

Latest research released by the RBA indicates a 40 per cent fall in the number of forged banknotes in circulation in the past three years, since the bank began releasing a new series of banknotes.

The bank says last year it identified 24,000 fake notes, or around 15 per million, which is down from 26 per million in 2015. By contrast counterfeiting in the UK is stronger, at around 100 notes per million. The value of the counterfeit notes in Australia is between $1m and $2m a year.

According to the RBA counterfeiters were improving their production to keep up with the latest anti-couterfeiting techniques on the banknotes produced at Note Printing Australia.

“The declining cost and growing sophistication of technology will likely enable counterfeiters to more easily produce counterfeits on a larger scale than was the case previously, and the Reserve Bank does not necessarily expect the counterfeiting rate to return to the low levels of the early 2000s,” it said.

The RBA is set to introduce a new $20 note later in the year. Not surprisingly it does not give details of its production process.
Not all counterfeiters use sophisticated technology, recent cases have included a former Tasmanian printer using a cheap photocopier to produce fake $20 and $50 notes, and Sydney man Benjamin Gilette-Rothschild producing $1m worth of fake $50 notes on three second-hand printers he bought for $80,000, along with $10,000 worth of UV ink, and 200kg of polypropylene film.

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