Counterfeit currency with fake holograms in Botswana

6 05 2008

After the fake Euros by Hologram Tam that have been a cause of worry in the European Union for long, the Bank of Botswana has issued an advisory to the general public that there are fake P100 and P50 bank notes in circulation, which are photo/scanned copies of genuine bank notes and thus, metallic features such as the hologram and windowed security thread appear as black/grey or brown patches on the surface of the counterfeits. It is noticed that counterfeiters have applied a thin film of a silver coloured substance on the hologram to give it a shiny effect like that on a genuine note.

The genuine bank notes are said to have a hologram that is silver coloured dual-image metallic patch with an image of the zebra and the number 100 on the P100 banknote hologram, which do not all appear at the same time, but switch from one to the other when the banknote is tilted and small diamonds appear in the background.

Furthermore, the images of the kingfisher and the number 50 on the P50 banknote hologram do not appear at the same time, but switch from one to the other when the banknote is tilted, with small kingfishers appearing in the background.


Fake Euro alert in Cyprus

15 01 2008

Cyprus Police Department is in contact with Europol, as part of efforts to infiltrate a gang bringing forged euros and fake credit cards into Cyprus.

The general public has been alerted to be on the lookout for fake euros, with 24 cases of counterfeit currency notes having been reported to the police since the introduction of the currency to Cyprus.

The European Central Bank has emphasized that various security features have been incorporated into the euro notes that will help in recognizing a genuine banknote from a counterfeit eoru note. These features include:

  • The raised print. Special printing processes give banknotes their unique feel. The ink should feel raised or thicker in the main image, the lettering and the value numerals on the front of the banknotes.
  • Additional tactile marks for the visually impaired are included on the bottom edge of the €200 banknote and on the right-hand edge of the €500. The paper consists of pure cotton, which feels crisp and firm (not limp or waxy).
  • When a banknote is held up against light: the watermark, the security thread and the see-through number will then be visible. All three features can be seen from the front and back of genuine banknotes.
  • The security thread is embedded in the banknote paper. Holding the banknote against the light shows the thread as a dark stripe. The word ‘EURO’ and the value can be seen in tiny letters on the stripe. In the hologram one can see perforations which form the symbol. One can also see small numbers showing the value.
  • When the banknote is tilted, on the front one can see the shifting image on the hologram. On the back, one can see the glossy stripe (on the €5, €10 and €20 banknotes) or the colour-changing number (on the €50, €100, €200 and €500 banknotes), from purple to olive green or brown.

According to the ECB in the second half of 2007 a total of 296,000 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation.

Hologram Tam – The Legend

29 10 2007

Thomas McAnea, 58, a Scotsman spearheaded one of the most sophisticated counterfeiting operations ever seen in Britain, producing fake banknotes that were found across the country.

Thomas is known in the criminal community for his ability to create accurate forgeries which earned him his reputation and his nickname – Tam the Hologram.

Magic fingers and an unerring eye gave “Hologram Tam”, one of the best forgers in Europe, the skills to produce counterfeit banknotes so authentic that when he was arrested nearly £700,000 worth were in circulation.

Thomas McAnea, 58, who was jailed for six years and four months yesterday, was the kingpin of a professional operation based in Glasgow that, according to police, had the capacity to produce £2 million worth of fake notes a day – enough potentially tom destabilise the British economy. More may remain out there undetected.

He had evaded a long prison sentence in 2000 on a technicality after being caught with £1.6 million of counterfeit money.

McAnea could have been living in a fabulous mansion in the Glasgow suburbs, like the drug barons to whom he was a service industry. But the expert forger of holograms and watermarks had no such aspirations. He was unambitious and nondescript, with a serious drink problem. Police sources say that he appeared to have barely two pennies to rub together. Instead, Hologram Tam seemed motivated by the satisfaction of a job well done. – Times Online

The gang developed a system which had the potential to produce £1 million in forgeries every two to three hours.

The raid on the premises in St George’s Road, Maryhill, in January, uncovered what police said was like a “scene from a film”, with blank sheets of paper at one end of the press, the printing plates ready to go and test sheets already produced.

Other raids across the city resulted in the recovery of thousands of pounds of counterfeit euros. There were also fake drivers’ licences, passports and other documents. –

€50 most faked Euro Note

13 07 2007

Interesting piece on how counterfeiters are having a field day by floating fake Euro notes.

The 50 euro banknote was the most widely faked euro note in the first half of 2007, accounting for half of all fake euro notes taken out of circulation, according to the European Central Bank.

The 100 euro note accounted for 20% of the fake notes, while the 20 euro note accounted for 15%. The smallest and the largest denominations were the least faked, with the five euro note and the 500 euro note accounting for a mere 1% of the total. Meanwhile, 10% of the fakes were 200 euro notes and 3% were 10 euro notes.

The report says that holograms are being used to distinguish counterfeit notes from the genuine ones.

Counterfeits can be easily distinguished from genuine banknotes by using the simple and so-called “feel-look-tilt” test to reveal the note’s security features. In the test, one can feel that the ink is thicker in some places than others on the note. Looking at the note up against the light will reveal watermarks. And if one tilts the bank note, the hologram image on the hologram patch will change between the value and a window or doorway. –EUObserver