BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – FOLLOWING reports that counterfeit notes may be in circulation, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is urging people to better understand the security feature on the new polymer notes.
Media reports out of St. Lucia have shown a bleached-out $20 note, purported to be the original, next to the actual original note.
In its advisory, the ECCB is pleading with persons to become familiar with the security features on both EC paper and polymer notes.
The Bank advised that individuals often attempt to circulate counterfeit notes around this time of year.
Weighing in on the matter, St. Lucia’s Minister of Commerce, Bradley Felix raised concerns over the alleged counterfeit note, saying: “There must be a concern with regards to that because it’s the time of the year when quite a few of our business houses make their most sales. And if people are going to be engaging in the spreading of counterfeit, you can well imagine the repercussions.”
The Minister also urged the public to better understand the security features on the notes, pointing out that the Central Bank has put out all the security signs that people should look out for on the new notes.
“…it is very important that our business people identify the security notes, the security signs on these bills, so that they don’t fall victim to these counterfeiters,” he added.
Earlier in the year, the Bank started to roll out the new polymer notes as a transition from the old paper ones.
As part of the roll out, the Central Bank undertook a major education campaign to sensitise the public across the sub-region of the new features attached to the notes.
Among the features are razor bumps to assist the blind to differentiate the various denomination of notes, and features of various locations of the islands coming under Eastern Caribbean umbrella.
The features of the Queen and former ECCB Governor Sir K. Dwight Venner are on the $100 and $50 notes respectively.
As part of the anti-counterfeiting measures, there is a holographic foil strip on the $100, $50 and $20 notes, which the Bank noted should be seen when the money is tilted.
Additionally, every denomination has a signature shape (a circle, a triangle, a rectangle) so that people can know instantly what they are holding.