Rise in supply of fake $100 currency
By HEDLEY THOMAS
COUNTERFEITERS of Hong Kong currency have been focusing on forgeries of $100 notes because higher denominations are checked more rigorously by banks and retailers.
Ultra violet lights are used widely to distinguish a genuine banknote's watermark and other security features in $500 and $1,000 notes, but rarely for $100 notes.
Commercial Crime Bureau (CCB) experts on forged currency said yesterday there had been an increase in the number of $100 counterfeit notes.
Up to about $3,000 a week in fake currency is collected by banks and retailers and passed to the CCB for investigation.
Hang Seng Bank usually received the most, CCB Detective Chief Inspector Michael Yu Shi-cheung said.
''The appearance or quality of the notes is alright, but if you compare the notes with genuine ones or pay a little more attention you can usually pick the fakes,'' he said.
''Some retailers and outlets scan the $100 notes under ultra violet light, but it doesn't happen often because of their relatively low value.'' The Bank of China, which a month ago joined Hongkong Bank and Standard Chartered Bank as a note-issuer, has not yet fallen prey to counterfeiters, but police believe it is only a matter of time.