BNM denies existence of high-quality counterfeit banknotes


KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has reassured the public that the counterfeit Malaysian banknotes detected so far are of low quality and mostly printed on normal paper using ordinary colour printers or copiers.

In a statement, BNM said counterfeit banknotes could be easily distinguished from genuine banknotes by using the simple sense of touch and sight.

“Members of the public should be able to identify these counterfeit banknotes.

“Contrary to a recent media report, BNM and the police have not detected high-quality counterfeit banknotes, printed using paper resembling actual banknote paper and state-of-the-art banknote printing techniques,” it added.

BNM also reiterated that incidences of counterfeit banknotes remained low with only isolated cases detected.

“Any insinuation that incidences of counterfeit banknotes are prevalent will cause undue public consternation and we view seriously any reports on counterfeit banknotes.

“Members of the public are also required to lodge a police report immediately if they have received any banknotes suspected to be counterfeit.

“This will facilitate prompt investigation into the matter.”

BNM said that together with the banking industry, it had in place adequate mitigating measures to ensure counterfeit banknotes were not passed through the financial system, including the ATM network.

It said a “Guideline on Handling of Suspected Counterfeit Banknotes” had been issued to the banking industry.

It outlined the steps to be adhered to by commercial banks, cash handlers, tellers and outsourced cash-in-transit security companies, in handling such banknotes deposited by members of the public over the counter or those discovered during cash processing.

Malaysian banknotes also incorporate the latest security features that are difficult to counterfeit.

Members of the public, including retailers, BNM said, have been advised to be vigilant when handling banknotes by applying the “Feel, Look, Tilt & Check” guide.

“Paper banknotes are textured and polymer banknotes are made of special plastic.

“Both paper and polymer banknotes have a raised print effect on the portrait of the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong and texts,” BNM said.

It also advised members of the public to look at the banknote under a white light background and observe the three-dimensional portrait watermark, perfect “see-through register” and clear window that will be visible.