KUALA LUMPUR (March 30): Malaysia’s note counterfeiting index has steadily declined to 0.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2022 from a peak of 1.9 ppm in 2015, equivalent to only three pieces of counterfeits for every 10 million pieces of currency notes in circulation.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in its Annual Report 2022, said reported cases of counterfeit notes are very rare.
It said Malaysia’s note counterfeiting index is lower than that of other benchmarked countries, where the counterfeit index in Indonesia recorded at three ppm, Thailand (one ppm), the Philippines (eight ppm), Eurozone (12 ppm), Australia (10 ppm) and South Africa (six ppm).
“Malaysia’s low note counterfeiting index underlines the robustness of the anti-counterfeiting security features embedded in our notes,” it said.
BNM said most counterfeit notes reported to the bank are simple counterfeits, printed using colour printers on ordinary paper and without any security features embedded. With a smooth surface and no coarse feel, they are mostly of low quality, making the counterfeits easily distinguishable from genuine notes.
Counterfeit incidents in Malaysia are mostly perpetrated by small-scale operations, usually by petty criminals who work alone using commercial devices such as photocopiers, scanners and laser printers.
“As such, the counterfeits that they produce typically lack all embedded security features,” BNM said.
Challenges in managing counterfeiting threats
The central bank said despite the low incidence of currency counterfeiting, managing currency counterfeiting threats remains a challenge.
“Enhancing our notes with more security features will not completely eliminate counterfeit notes in circulation as counterfeiters will continue to develop and adopt newer techniques to defraud the public and evade the authorities,” it said.
The bank plays an active role to protect the integrity of currency and ensure high public confidence in the country’s notes and coins.
Six anti-counterfeiting strategies are deployed to ensure its currency notes and coins remain protected against counterfeiting, including issuing notes with robust security features into circulation.
“We also develop standards for our industry players and guidelines for the public to ensure any counterfeit notes are detected and removed so that only high-quality notes are reissued into circulation,” BNM said.
In combating counterfeiting activities, the bank works closely with cash machines and automated teller machines (ATMs) operators to calibrate their machines to meet authentication standards.
The central bank also collaborates with external stakeholders to conduct currency awareness programmes to enable them to spot counterfeit notes when they see or touch one.
“In ensuring the effectiveness of the strategies, the bank works closely with the Royal Malaysia Police to investigate and act against perpetrators of currency counterfeiting,” it said. — Bernama