Number of fake euro banknotes has fallen: ECB

19th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

The number of fake euro banknotes seized in the first half of 2010 fell by 13 percent from the level in the previous six-month period, the ECB said on Monday, the first decline since late 2006.

"In the first half of 2010 a total of 387,000 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation," a European Central Bank statement said.

The decline compared with an increase of eight percent in the second half of 2009. The ECB did not offer an explanation for the decrease.

"The proportion of counterfeits remains very low," when compared with the roughly 13.2 billion genuine banknotes in circulation, the statement added.

Seizures amounted to around 265,000 in the second half of 2006 and first half of 2007, and then began to climb steadily, reaching 447,000 in the second half of last year.

There was a slight change this time in the denomination of fake banknotes most often found, with 50-euro (65-dollar) notes representing 42.5 percent of the total and 20-euro notes accounting for 41.5 percent.

In late 2009, counterfeit 20-euro notes had topped the ranking.

Almost all of those found, 96 percent, were 20, 50, and 100-euro banknotes, and more than 98 percent of all counterfeit notes were found within the 16-member eurozone.

© 2010 AFP

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