Fewer forged Euro notes spotted in 2010

Fewer than 9,000 fake Euro banknotes were confiscated in Austria last year, helping the country to remain among the Eurozone members with the lowest forgery rate.The Austrian National Bank (OeNB) announced yesterday (Mon) that 8,812 forged Euro notes were discovered and banned last year, down from 9,780 in the previous year. It added that the number of discovered fake Euro notes in Europe dropped by 12.7 per cent year on year to 751,000 – which is still the second-highest number since the currency, which is currently used by 17 of the European Union’s (EU) 27 members, was introduced in 2002.The Austrian share in the overall number of discovered forgeries is just 1.17 per cent. “This means Austria has retained its place among the Eurozone members with the lowest forgery activities,” said OeNB director Stefan Augustin.Augustin said the 20-Euro banknote has been faked most often in Austria, while the 50-Euro note is most popular among forgers in Europe. He said Austrian criminals may have produced 40 per cent of all confiscated forged Euro notes after the forgery business in the Balkan region has declined over the past few years after having dominated the illicit business for some time.The OeNB said damages caused to the Austrian economy by the forgeries ranged around 617,000 Euros in 2010 (2009: 617,000 Euros).