Counterfeit 200 kuna banknotes found in circulation

Published: 2/5/2005

The Croatian National Bank and Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia wish to inform the public that counterfeit 200 kuna banknotes bearing the issue date of 7 March 2002 have been found in circulation. The counterfeits detected so far have serial marks and serial numbers printed in various styles.

In the period from 18 March to 30 April this year, a total of 37 counterfeits were found, 29 in Zagreb and the rest in Karlovac, Garešnica, Zabok, Samobor and Varaždin. They have mostly been put into circulation through small-value payments made in shops, pharmacies, kiosks and gasoline stations. Citizens are requested to immediately notify the Police of any detected doubtful banknotes.

The use of printing suggests that the quantity of the counterfeits might be large, so additional vigilance is required when accepting 200 kuna banknotes. Banknotes should be thoroughly checked for authenticity, as several counterfeit security features may be deceiving.

Counterfeit 200 kuna banknotes have been printed in the offset printing technique with an attempt to imitate a number of security features such as the kinegram, watermark, security thread and iridescent colour effect. A counterfeit may be recognised by its visibly different hues compared with the genuine banknote, particularly noticeable in the portrait of Stjepan Radić.

Furthermore, the legends "HRVATSKA NARODNA BANKA" and "DVJESTA KUNA", banknote denomination and portrait of Stjepan Radić are not embossed, as on the genuine banknote, so that the raised print of these legends and drawings cannot be felt.

On the counterfeit's obverse, there is no iridescent metallized security foil incorporated into the paper, kinegram, in the form of an elongated quadrangle with an optically variable portrait of Stjepan Radić and an optically variable image, but an imitation of the foil. The imitation kinegram has approximately the same form as the genuine one and creates a pronounced silvery reflection. However, the colours within the kinegram are not iridescent as on the genuine banknote. When the counterfeit note is tilted, the outlines of the portrait in the imitation kinegram become visible, but the portrait does not switch from left to right and vice versa, as in the genuine kinegram. The watermark is not incorporated into the paper but printed on the counterfeit's reverse. When the reverse of the counterfeit is observed in a flat position, printed outlines of a manually drawn portrait of Stjepan Radić becomes visible within the watermark area. The intensity and form of the imitation watermark are essentially different from those of the genuine watermark.

The security thread on a counterfeit's reverse is imitated as a continuous printed line of unequal breadth in grey colour with visibly brighter outlines of the digits and letters of the legend "200 HRK". Thin coats of paint have been put manually between the digits and letters in order to create the illusion of silver windows of the security thread as in the genuine banknote. The iridescent colour effect on the obverse of the counterfeits is similar to that on the genuine banknote, but the denomination "200" within a square situated in the upper right corner is not clearly printed.

The Ministry of the Interior has brought criminal charges against two persons on a founded suspicion of having committed the crime of counterfeiting pursuant to Article 274 of the Penal Law. The Ministry is taking further measures to identify the origin of the counterfeit banknotes and to identify other perpetrators of this crime.