Counterfeit 1000 kuna banknotes found in circulation

Published: 1/7/2003

The Croatian National Bank and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia wish to inform the public that forged 1000 kuna banknotes bearing the issue date of October 31, 1993 have been found in circulation.

All forgeries discovered so far contain the same letters designating the series, A...E, while the serial numbers are printed in various styles. The forged banknotes have been made by printing, which suggests that the number of forgeries might be significant. Therefore, the public is urged to be vigilant when accepting the 1000 kuna banknotes and any doubtful notes discovered should be immediately reported to the Police.

The counterfeit 1000 kuna notes have been discovered in Osijek, Našice, Đakovo, Slavonski Brod, Novska, Okučani, Nova Gradiška, Zagreb, Rijeka, Crikvenica, Opatija and Rovinj. They were put into circulation mainly through small-value payments in kiosks, shops, gasoline stations, coffee bars, bus and railway stations and betting shops.

The forgeries can be rather easily recognized and distinguished from the genuine banknotes as they are printed on a markedly yellowish paper, with the edge of the portrait of Ante Starčević overlapping with the drawing on the surface, owing to a shift in the process of printing. The overlapping of the portrait with the surface gives an impression that the portrait is bordered by a narrow smudged line from one side, while the other side of the portrait indicates a narrow unprinted line. The watermark is not incorporated into the paper but is printed on the reverse of the forgery. When the reverse of the forged note is held flat, bright yellowish printed outlines of the portrait of Ante Starčević can be observed. The imitation of the watermark differs markedly from the genuine watermark in its position, the portrait and pronouncedly yellowish outlines. The metallic security thread is replaced by a printed foil, creating the illusion of bright little silver windows, which are characteristic of the genuine banknotes. The colors of the portraits and legends on the forgeries are darker, but also blurred and smudged.

The past investigations into the circumstances of putting into circulation of the forged banknotes have resulted in bringing criminal charges by the Ministry of the Interior against 6 persons on a founded suspicion of having committed a crime pursuant to Article 274 of the Penal Law. The stated criminal charges have been brought against two persons in Zagreb, three in Slavonski Brod and one person in Rijeka.

The Ministry of the Interior is taking further measures to identify the source of the forged banknotes and to identify other perpetrators of this crime.