Barely 48 hours after President Ernest Koroma launched the new currency notes, a counterfeit Le5,000 note has been detected in the system.
The counterfeit note, used to purchase fuel past Sunday at the gas station at “Bottom Mango” Wilberforce was discovered by the attendants. It lacks all the basic features on the new notes.
Under close examination, it was discovered that it did not contain the Lion watermark as well as the Le5,000 right at the bottom of the Lion. However, it had the signatures of both the Bank and Deputy Governors intact, and smaller in size than that of the original.
Another conspicuous difference is the gold mark on the front face of the money that of the fake has a greenish colour.
Explaining how it was discovered, retired Commodore A.A. Koroma, who operates the NP station indicated that last Sunday, a bike rider drove into the station to purchase fuel and during the process when he handed over the money to the pump attendant, he discovered that one of the notes did not correspond with the others. The pump attendant ordered him to change the note, which he did, but by the time he alerted his co-attendants the bike rider had made good his escape from the station to avoid being arrested.
The retired Commodore used the opportunity to appeal to business houses, bankers, market women and the general public to ensure that they carefully examine the various notes because these counterfeit agents are finding ways and means to beat the system.
The Public Relations Officer of the Central Bank Beresford Taylor indicated that even though they are yet to set eyes on the fake currency note, he was pleased that the sensitization strides of the bank had gone down well.
Explaining further he affirmed that “the public should remain vigilant to ensure that they examine the notes critically and more especially they should be looking out for the specific features that each notes carries.” He stressed that the public should be watchful as they look out for the watermark, look for the numbers under the watermark and should lift up the notes to ensure that the figures of each domination are disclosed. He called on the populace to ensure that they trace the source of the counterfeit before rushing to the bank so that it could be nipped in the bud.