Fake banknote withdrawn from cash machine

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 December, 2009, 12:00am


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A counterfeit banknote smaller than a normal note was withdrawn from a Bank of China cash machine at University station last week.

Yesterday a businessman surnamed Yu said one of the 100 yuan (HK$114) banknotes, among 15 he withdrew from the automated teller machine (ATM), was a suspected fake, smaller, thinner and smoother compared with a real one.

'Previously I thought it was very safe to withdraw money from cash machines, but now I have lost confidence in the yuan withdrawn from ATMs, and found citizens' rights are not protected in such a case,' Yu said.

Frequently travelling to the mainland, Yu has withdrawn yuan from cash machines in Hong Kong before his departure in the past three years. This is the first time he has found counterfeit yuan in one.

He withdrew the banknotes at a machine at the station on his way to Lo Wu at 9am last Thursday, Yu said. Three hours afterwards, Yu arrived in Dongguan , Guangzhou, and gave one of the notes to a driver. 'The driver told me that the 100 yuan note was a fake one, and I realised that it was physically smaller,' Yu said.

Yu decided to keep the 100 yuan notes he had remaining and the ATM receipt, and reported to Hong Kong police at Lo Wu station when he returned to Hong Kong last Friday.

An officer told him that the suspected counterfeit note would be confiscated, so instead Yu took it to BOC. However, bank staff in Kwai Tsing Road branch suggested only that Yu report the case to police and could not guarantee that the bank would compensate him.

A BOC spokesman sqaid yesterday he had no comment on the individual case, but said the bank reported to the Commercial Crime Bureau in suspected counterfeit-note cases, according to standard procedures.

BOC has 470 cash machines in the city, and 420 provide yuan. BOC machines do not provide cash-deposit-taking services in the city. BOC stressed that all banknotes put in cash machines went through strict examination procedures.

Police figures revealed that 3,071 counterfeit 100 yuan notes were seized in the first half of this year, and 8,569 counterfeit 100 yuan notes were seized last year.

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Police figures show the number of counterfeit 100 yuan notes seized in the first half of this year to be: 3,071