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- Counterfeit: suspect cases in decline in 2011 - Phenomenon in line with EU countries - € 20 banknote is the most counterfeited banknote

Press release N° 11 of 01/30/2012

The 21st Report of the Counterfeiting of the Euro, presented today by UCAMP - Ufficio Centrale Antifrode dei Mezzi di Pagamento del Dipartimento del Tesoro, the anti-counterfeit section of the Treasury, showed that the number of suspect cases involving the counterfeiting of coins and banknotes had declined in Italy in 2011.

70.824 reports of suspected counterfeit cases were recorded, in the year marking the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Euro as the legal tender in Italy. The number of suspected cases, down nearly 8% from 76,763 in 2010, led to the withdrawal and/or seizure of a total of 83,509 banknotes and 45,130 metal coins.

In 2011, Banca d'Italia examined and recognised as false 145,879 banknotes, equivalent to a total nominal value of nearly € 7 million. As for coins, the National Analysis Centre at Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, the state mint, has ascertained the falsity of 30,867 pieces, equivalent to a total nominal value of approximately € 35,000.

The banknotes

Out of a total of 83,509 suspected counterfeit banknotes, the most counterfeited was the € 20 note (56.24% of the total), in line with the trends occurring in the other countries of the Euro Area.

The largest concentration of withdrawn/seized banknotes was recorded in the northwest (26,835 banknotes) followed by the northeast (19,499) and the centre (19,992). In the south and in the islands respectively 8,623 and 8,408 banknotes were withdrawn.

From a regional perspective, a closer look at the figures concerning counterfeit notes showed that the list of top-ten regions included Lombardia (16,490), Veneto (9,925), Lazio (8,667), Sicily (7,272), Tuscany (7,256), Emilia Romagna (6,781), Campania (5,318), Liguria (5,244), Piemonte (4,863) and Puglia (2,512).

Coins

As for coins, 45,130 pieces were withdrawn and/or seized, out of which 686 pieces of 20 cents; 11,299 of 50 cents; 20,146 of 1 euro (the most common); and 12,999 of 2 euro.

47.58% of reports were received from banking institutes, 45.27% from cash transporting and storing companies and 5.9% from post offices. The remaining 1.25% of the reports came from other entities authorised to withdraw/seize suspected counterfeit banknotes and coins, namely police forces, other financial intermediaries, etc.

As for the geographical distribution, the largest flow of counterfeit coins originated mainly from north Italy (22,629 from the northwest and 18,750 from the northeast - amounting to approximately 58.18% of the total) and from the centre (19,390. i.e. 27.38% of the total). In the south and in the islands, respectively 6,134 (8.67%) and 3,951 (5.57%) reports were filed, while 150 cases (0.2%) involved seizures carried out in the Repub lic of San Marino.

The system for protecting the euro against counterfeiting

UCAMP - Ufficio Centrale Antifrode dei Mezzi di Pagamento del Dipartimento del Tesoro, the anti-counterfeit section of the Treasury, monitors the phenomenon of counterfeiting through a single database which processes information concerning all reported cases. Linking-up with the Counterfeit Monitoring System (CMS) of the European Central Bank, the UCAMP database records the technical assessments carried out by National Analysis Centres (CNA and CNAC), which have been established at Banca d'Italia (for banknotes) and at Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (for metal coins), to verify the real state of the cash that has already been entered as suspect in the electronic archive of UCAMP.

It should additionally be observed that with a view to further strengthening monitoring, training activities through seminars and workshops are regularly carried out to improve the professional skills of those involved in the handling of the cash.

Rome 01/30/2012
IT