Warning for the detection of counterfeit notes

It affects banknotes of 500 euros

02/11/2022

The Andorran Police and the Andorran Financial Authority (AFA) warn of the possible circulation of counterfeit banknotes after a joint operation of the Mossos d'Esquadra (Police Forces in Catalonia) and the Investigation Brigade of the Bank of Spain of the National Police last October.

The operation resulted in several arrests in different Spanish locations and allowed the dismantling of the most important laboratory in Europe in the last decade dedicated to the production of counterfeit 500-euro banknotes. The police forces confiscated an amount valued at 4 million euros and estimate that the counterfeiters would have printed banknotes for twice the value confiscated and therefore 4 million more could be in circulation.

The particularity of these notes is their high quality, to the point that the detection machines of the banks could come to consider them valid. They simulate and imitate their different security elements in a very reliable way, and can easily lead citizens into confusion.

For this reason, citizens in general and mainly banks, merchants, and real estate companies carrying out cash transactions are alerted that these notes could be in circulation in the Andorran financial system.

Both institutions also remember that other counterfeit notes, called "fancy", are still being detected, a modality that affects banknotes of 5, 10, 20, and 50 euros. They resemble the legitimate ones at first sight, in colour, dimension and design, but they include inscriptions located on their front or on their back where it is indicated that they are not legal tender bills, but used, for example, in the filming of movies. The inscriptions that can be seen are "This is no legal tender, it’s used for motion props", "movie money", "prop copy" or "GEÇERSIZDIR".

The Police and the AFA request that, in case of detecting or suspecting the illegitimacy of a bank note, the banks or the Police Force itself shall be consulted. They also inform that using these bank notes being aware that they are illegal may constitute a criminal offence. Citizens are recommended to hand them over to banks or to the Police forces so that they can be withdrawn from circulation.