Police have recovered evidence that lesser-value Cayman Islands bills are being counterfeited and passed on to businesses as legal tender.
In the past, $100, $50 and $25 notes have been faked. Now, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Financial Crimes Unit notes that much more convincing fake $10 notes are beginning to appear in circulation.
“The $10 notes we’re now seeing are of a much better quality than those we’ve previously recovered,” said RCIPS Detective Constable Adrian Neblett.
“In fact, the quality is so good that, to the naked eye, they look real. The metallic strip in these newer notes is much shinier than we’ve seen in previous forgeries.”
Since the beginning of 2011, police have recovered a small number of $10 and $100 notes, as well as US$50 and US$100 notes.
“We’re urging the business community and members of the public to spend a few extra seconds checking all notes – in particular the presence of the watermark – that come into their possession,” Mr. Neblett said.
The Caymanian Compass has learned of at least one instance where several bogus $10 notes were passed at a Bodden Town bar this week.
According to the owner, police were called in Wednesday night after a staff member received three counterfeit $10 bills from a patron.
The owner told the Compass that the bills were printed on a silky type of paper and didn’t have the hidden drawing of the turtle on them when held up to the light.
“It is very noticeable, if you look carefully, one can spot the difference, but I did not know that counterfeit $10 notes were in circulation,” said Buddy Wood, the bar’s owner.
“Just the night before, I discussed with the barmaids what they should do if they suspected someone at the bar was passing out [counterfeit] notes and that was to call the police.”
The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority will not compensate individuals who are in possession of bogus bills, even if they had no idea the note was fake, police said.
“Those extra few seconds spent checking the cash could prevent you losing out financially,” Mr. Neblett said.
If you believe you may have received a counterfeit note, the Financial Crime Unit advises the following:
- Observe the description of the person passing the note and anyone else with them
- Do not return the note to the passer, if possible. Rather, initial and date the white border of the note and then tag the note with a copy of the transaction receipt and call police.
- Obtain as much information as possible from the person passing the note and write it on the form
The police form for reporting counterfeit money can be found on the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority’s website, www.cimoney.com.ky under the ‘currency’ section.