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Fake money is legitimate and genuine money (banknote or coin) whose face value or other feature has been changed, with the intention of making it circulate. An example would be to add a “0” to a 500$00 banknote, with its face value increasing from 500$00 to 5000$00.

And the counterfeiting of money (banknotes or coins) is the illegitimate and complete reproduction of genuine currency by graphical means, photocopying or other means, with the intention of putting it into circulation. (1)

 In accordance with Article 13 of Banco de Cabo Verde’s Organic Law, “The imitation or reproduction of Cabo Verde escudo banknotes and coins, in whole or in part and through any technical process, as well as the distribution of these reproductions or imitations, and the making of plates, dies or other technical means that allow reproduction or imitation, when they do not fall under the crimes of counterfeiting or alteration of the face value of a currency, constitute an infraction punishable by a fine of CVE 50,000 to CVE 2,500,000 or CVE 100,000 to CVE 15,000,000, depending on whether the agent is a natural person or a legal or equivalent person.” "Attempt and negligence are always punishable."

The Bank is responsible for the pre-trial proceedings and for applying sanctions related to the infractions.

Always keep in mind a small phrase that is inscribed on all banknotes issued by BCV: The Law Punishes Counterfeiters.

In order to fulfill one of its essential missions – to ensure the quality and genuineness of fiduciary circulation, Banco de Cabo Verde has been promoting a number of policies that ensure genuineness and an adequate level of quality of banknote and coin of circulation, on the one hand, and safeguarding against possible acts by counterfeiters or forgers, on the other, namely:

Incorporating technological innovations in line with international security standards, making it difficult to counterfeit. This was one of the main reasons for switching from printing on cotton substrate to polymer substrate, in the case of the new 200 escudo banknote.
Checking/examining banknotes and, if they are damaged or worn or liable to raise doubts as to their authenticity, they are immediately removed from circulation and replaced with new banknotes that are suitable for circulation.

Developing policies aimed at educating and actively communicating with professionals, schools and users of banknotes and coins, in order to guide people in identifying genuine banknotes.

Working closely with law enforcement authorities to identify counterfeit operations.

Note that a counterfeit banknote cannot be exchanged for a genuine banknote, but you will be giving your contribution in combating counterfeiting. So, if you suspect that a banknote is counterfeit or fake or have information about counterfeiting activities, report it immediately to the Judiciary Police, a commercial bank or Banco de Cabo Verde.

(1) BCV Notebooks -Financial Education Series -No.05/2007