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Unpublished Paper
Terrorist Financing & Counterfeit Currency
ExpressO (2008)
  • Cenan Al-Ekabi

The easiest way to counter counterfeit currency is by educating handlers of currency on the security devices implanted within each note. When familiar with the currency received, a recipient will be more likely to differentiate a counterfeit note from a genuine one by identifying the security features common to all denominations of the currency. Armed with the ability to identify forged foreign notes from genuine, individuals that come across the forgeries would be less likely to accept them and take the economic loss. Additionally, counterfeiters wouldn’t be able to earn a profit from the note and would experience a loss based on production costs of creating the bogus bill. They would also have to spend more on production costs to pass a counterfeit onto a discriminating recipient. Finally, counterfeit currency would not have a chance to negatively affect currency values if they are identified and reported at their first transaction.

In order to educate the World in identifying foreign counterfeit currency, states should use a uniform standard in supplying that education or else risk exposing classified or incorrect counterfeit detection methods to the public. Both have the potential to aid counterfeiters in their trade rather than harm them; official standards in counterfeit detection material are better than word of mouth advice.

One method that was effective on Canada’s National level has been by publishing quick, highly visual information cards and brochures showing some of the security devices and how to spot them, enabling people receiving notes with visual tools to distinguish real currency from counterfeit; these reference cards were distributed to banks, private lenders and merchants. To expand on that idea, states with globally accepted currencies should make that type of information available to all other countries that readily accept the foreign currency as a substitute for their own currency. A declaration among countries to make available basic security devices on their currency would be a very inexpensive way to effectively combat counterfeit currency and would help to close another door on terrorist financing.

  • FATF,
  • Terrorism,
  • Counterfeit Currency,
  • Money Laundering
Publication Date
Spring April 4, 2008
Citation Information
Cenan Al-Ekabi. "Terrorist Financing & Counterfeit Currency" ExpressO (2008)
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