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Counterfeit notes seizures increase in 2023

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Even though more counterfeit banknotes were removed from circulation in 2023 than in 2022, the overall rate has remained relatively small, the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) said on Tuesday.

In its annual bulletin on Euro banknote counterfeiting, the CBC said 642 counterfeit Euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation in 2023 in Cyprus, an increase of 42.4 per cent compared to 2022.

In 2023, the €20 banknote was the most counterfeited, representing 41.7 per cent of the total.

“Compared to the number of genuine Euro banknotes in circulation, the amount of counterfeits remains very small,” it said.

However, the Central Bank advised the public to be careful and check the banknotes they receive during cash transactions in detail.

At the European level, the European Central Bank has announced that during 2023 around 467,000 counterfeit Euro banknotes of various denominations were withdrawn from circulation, showing an increase of 24.2 per cent compared to 2022, when the number of counterfeit banknotes was extremely low after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Banknotes with denominations of €50 and €20 continue to show the highest rates of counterfeiting, accounting for a total of 72.4 per cent of the total, it added.

Most of the counterfeit Euro banknotes, 97.2 per cent, were found in eurozone member states, 1.9 per cent in non-eurozone EU member states and 0.9 per cent in other parts of the world.

Information on checking the authenticity of Euro banknotes is available both on CBC’s website and that of the European Central Bank.

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