Record low of counterfeit banknotes in Malta

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January, 2021 at 10:22 am by Andre Camilleri

In the second half of 2020, 198 counterfeit euro banknotes were reported to the Central Bank of Malta.

This brought the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation for the whole of 2020 to 480 pieces, which is the lowest number ever registered in Malta.

When compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation in Malta (slightly above 19.66 million on average for the second half of 2020), the proportion of euro counterfeits remains insignificant.

It is also low (0.09%) as a proportion of the total number of counterfeits seized in the euro area as a whole over the same period, amounting to 220,000 pieces.

Of all the fake euro banknotes seized in Malta over the second half of the year, the middle denominations continue to be the most counterfeited. Even if they experienced a slight decrease, the €20 and €50 are still the most targeted denominations and together accounted for 71.2% of all counterfeits withdrawn from circulation. During this period, the share of the €5 and €10 denominations increased.

The table below provides a percentage breakdown by denomination, of the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation in the second half of 2020, compared to those withdrawn in the euro area as a whole.

Percentage BreakdownEuro area2.316.036.330.910.33.01.2
Malta 10.110.643.927.36.61.5

Notwithstanding the low figures of counterfeits reported locally, the Central Bank of Malta reminds 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received in cash transactions as in the past months there was an increase in the number of low quality counterfeits withdrawn from circulation.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. 2294 2120 or the Central Bank of Malta on Tel. 2550 6012/13 or via the Bank’s e-mail address at
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