The central bank has spotted a fake bill of the new banknote series that was introduced into circulation across the Maldives just last week.
Mariyam Hussain Didi, the assistant governor of the Maldives Monetary Authority, said the fake 500 rufiyaa bill was found in a café at Malé’s carnival area last night.
“We found the note to be a photocopy of poor quality. That 500 rufiyaa note’s colour was very different to that of the real 500 rufiyaa note,” Mariyam said.
Counterfeiters had bleached a ten rufiyaa bill of the new series and changed it to a 500 rufiyaa bill. The value of the note was easily spotted because of a clear plastic window present on each bill that states its actual worth.
The Ran Dhihafaheh (Golden 50) notes were printed on polymer with enhanced security features. They were designed on the occasion of the Maldives’ Golden Jubilee of Independence, which was marked last year. The September 28 blast on President Abdulla Yameen’s speedboat delayed the introduction of the new series.
“We would like to note that making counterfeits of this series would be very difficult,” Mariyam said, adding that the MMA receives fake notes of the old series every day.
The redesign was prompted by the need to tighten security features to prevent counterfeiting.
The MMA said it will continue awareness programs to prevent the use of fake notes.
The central bank introduced last week a song about the new series, and its officials have travelled to several inhabited islands to inform islanders about the enhanced security features.
The new notes were designed in the denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and the newly introduced 1,000. Each note has a different colour scheme and conceptual theme. Tactile dots were also added as a special feature for the visually impaired.
The MVR5 note will be discontinued and introduced as coins later this year.
The new bills are now available from banks and ATMs. The old series can be used as legal tender until March 31. The central bank said it expects to replace the old series within five years.