More than 2,700 fake $100 banknotes were found in the first two months of this year, three times the number detected in the first quarter of last year. Police said most of the notes had been made with ink-jet printers. Many were quite sophisticated, with fluorescent denomination blocks visible under ultraviolet light. The Commercial Crime Bureau said the total number of fake $100 notes found last year dropped 14.6 per cent from 2000 to 8,391. But a sharp surge was seen in the last quarter of 2001 when 5,479 fake $100 notes were found - about 17 times the figure of 309 detected in the same period of 2000. The increase continued into the first two months this year, when 2,792 fake $100 notes were found - more than triple the 869 found in the first quarter last year. Police said the first batch of fake banknotes with fluorescent marks was found in the last quarter of 2001, with about 25 per cent of the counterfeit bills carrying the feature. Half of the fake $100 notes found this year carried the fluorescent marks. The head of the Commercial Crime Bureau, Chief Superintendent Lo Yik-kee, voiced fears about the surge in fake notes. 'But the quality of these notes is still quite poor. The public can identify them by simply touching and feeling them,' Mr Lo said. The fake notes had a smoother texture, deeper colours and fuzzier images than genuine ones. Mr Lo also expressed concern about a surge in the number of fake $10 coins found, growing from 115,292 in 2000 to 460,835 last year. A total of 111,287 were detected in the first two months of this year. A total of 12,542 fake banknotes of different value were found last year, a drop of 26 per cent from the 16,953 in 2000. Most of these were discovered at banks. Mr Lo said police believed syndicates were behind some of the counterfeiting activities, including mainland operations. He said police would continue to crack down on the problem by targeting the source, distribution and use of fake notes and coins. A spokesman for the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said it was aware of the fake $100 banknotes problem and concerned about the surge in the number of fake $10 coins.