Central Bank of Malta publishes annual information on euro banknote counterfeiting in Malta

10000 Euro note on white background, close-up

Last Updated on Monday, 7 March, 2022 at 8:56 pm by Andre Camilleri

In the second half of 2021, the number of counterfeit euro banknotes reported to the Central Bank of Malta amounted to 150 pieces, practically equivalent to the amount recorded during the first half of that year.

This brought the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation for the whole of 2021 to 305 pieces, which is the lowest total ever registered in Malta, since adopting the euro in 2008.

When compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes issued for circulation in Malta during 2021 (slightly above 25.59 million on average), the proportion of euro counterfeits remains insignificant.

At 0.09%, Malta’s share in the total number of counterfeits seized in the euro area as a whole over the same period (amounting to 347,000 pieces) was also lower than its ECB capital share (0.1049%) among euro area National Central Banks.

Of all the fake euro banknotes seized in Malta during 2021, the middle denominations continued to be the most counterfeited. The €20 and €50 notes experienced a slight increase during 2021 and together accounted for 73.5% of all seized counterfeits. During this period, the share of the counterfeit €5 and €10 note denominations increased, while no counterfeits were received of the higher denominations.

The table below provides a percentage distribution by denomination, of the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation during 2021 compared to those withdrawn in the euro area as a whole.

Percentage DistributionEuro area2.415.732.
Malta 12.19.535.138.44.9

Notwithstanding the low figures of counterfeits reported locally, the Central Bank of Malta continues to advise the public to remain alert with regard to the banknotes received in cash transactions as in the past months there was an increase in the number of low quality counterfeits withdrawn from circulation. All are very easy to detect as they have very poor imitations of security features.

Genuine banknotes can be easily recognised using the simple “FEEL-LOOK-TILT” test, which is described on the Bank’s website. The Bank is available to provide any support, including training to any local entities which may require such assistance.

Anyone who receives a suspect note should contact either the Police on Tel. No. 2294 2120 or the Central Bank of Malta on Tel. No. 2550 6012/13 or on the Bank’s e-mail address at nccmt@centralbankmalta.org.

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