Money - Euro

The total number of counterfeit banknotes confiscated from circulation in Malta for 2021 amounted to 305 pieces, the Central Bank of Malta (CBM) revealed, “the lowest total ever registered in Malta, since adopting the euro in 2008”.

“When compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes issued for circulation in Malta during 2021 (slightly above 25.59 million on average), the proportion of euro counterfeits remains insignificant.”

At 0.09 per cent, Malta’s share in the total number of counterfeits seized in the euro area as a whole over the same period (amounting to 347,000 pieces) was also lower than its ECB capital share (0.1049 per cent) among euro area National Central Banks.

Of all the fake euro banknotes seized in Malta during 2021, the middle denominations continued to be the most counterfeited. The €20 and €50 notes experienced a slight increase during 2021 and together accounted for 73.5 per cent of all seized counterfeits. During this period, the share of the counterfeit €5 and €10 note denominations increased, while no counterfeits were received of the higher denominations.

The table below provides a percentage distribution by denomination, of the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation during 2021 compared to those withdrawn in the euro area as a whole:

€5€10€20€50€100€200€500
Percentage
Distribution
Euro Area2.4150732.133.89.55.51.0
Malta12.19.535.138.44.9

Notwithstanding the low figures of counterfeits reported locally, the Central Bank of Malta continues to advise the public to remain alert with regard to the banknotes received in cash transactions “as in the past months there was an increase in the number of low-quality counterfeits withdrawn from circulation”.

“All are very easy to detect as they have very poor imitations of security features.”

Genuine banknotes can be easily recognised using the simple “FEEL-LOOK-TILT” test, which is described on the CBM’s website. The CBM said  it is available to provide any support, including training to any local entities which may require such assistance.

Anyone who receives a suspect note should contact either the Police on Tel. No. 2294 2120 or the Central Bank of Malta on Tel. No. 2550 6012/13 or on the bank’s e-mail.

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