The Croatian National Bank replaces stained kuna banknotes where the staining has not resulted from the activation of electrochemical protection devices.
Stained banknotes resulting from the activation of electrochemical protection are replaced by the Croatian National Bank only if the applicant has enclosed documentation about the cause of the activation of electrochemical protection devices.
When completing the Application for the analysis and replacement of stained kuna banknotes, the applicant must describe in detail how the damage occurred.
Have you ever received a stained banknote?
Do not accept a stained banknote like the ones from the figure below, as it is very likely that it has been stolen and stained by the ink from container with electrochemical protection system (hereinafter referred to as: “security container”) as a result of an attempted theft.
Figure1 Banknotes stained by ink from a security container
The ink on such banknotes originates from protected security containers containing banknotes, such as an ATM or a security container in a cash transportation vehicle, which are activated when forcefully handled in an attempt to open them. These systems make stolen banknotes unusable, thus reducing the risk for retailers, banks or other professional cash handlers of becoming victims of crime.
How to recognise a stained banknote that has likely been stolen?
A banknote stained by the ink from a security container soaks in the ink and thus displays characteristic stains and leaves pronounced traces on the edges of the banknote. The colours of the most commonly used security inks are violet, green, blue, red or black. The ink usually flows from the edges towards the centre of the banknotes. Sometimes, individuals try to remove the stains by washing the stained banknotes. As a result, the banknotes’ original colours could be altered and the banknotes’ security features may be damaged or even destroyed.
Figure 2 A banknote damaged by washing at a high temperature
Does it mean that all stained banknotes are stolen?
No, it does not. If there are very light stains on the banknotes or only a part of the banknotes’ surface is stained and the edges are intact, then they are most likely ink-stained accidentally or while being washed in a washing machine, etc. Such banknotes have probably not been stolen. You should send them for replacement to the Croatian National Bank, with attached Application for the analysis and replacement of stained kuna banknotes.
Figure 3 A banknote washed and stained in a washing machine
What if someone gives you a stained banknote you suspect to have been stained by an anti-theft device?
- Do not accept it and ask for another one.
- Refuse bleached or discoloured banknotes with visible traces of the removed staining because it has most likely been bleached or washed in an attempt to remove the stains caused by the ink from a security container.
- If you have come into possession of a stained banknote, send it to the Croatian National Bank with the attached Application for the analysis and replacement of stained banknotes, in which you should provide any information known to you. The Croatian National Bank will check if the stains are caused by the activation of a security container and, if necessary, may involve the police that can use the banknote as evidence against a perpetrator of a criminal offence.
- If the analysis reveals that the stains are caused by the activation of a security container, you will not be entitled to replacement. The Croatian National Bank can replace banknotes stained by the ink from a security container only at the request of the legal owner of a stained banknote, with attached documents that can prove the cause of the activation of the security protection.
- If the examination confirms that the stains are not caused by the activation of a security container, the Croatian National Bank will replace the stained kuna banknotes with banknotes fit for circulation.