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Reserve Bank of Malawi launches counterfeit currency management policy

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Intent on combating cases of counterfeit notes, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has, in agreement with stakeholders in the financial sector, established a Counterfeit Currency Management Policy.

The stakeholders, which include the Bankers Association of Malawi (Bam), the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and Microfinance Institutions Network, signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with RBM in Lilongwe on Tuesday.

The policy will facilitate joint operations in fighting proliferation of counterfeit notes.

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This follows revelations that, since January 2016, RBM has sieved over 2,750 counterfeit notes.

During the MoU signing ceremony, RBM Governor, Dalitso Kabambe, said the country has this year set aside over K13 billion for the replacement of damaged notes and enhancing security features of the notes to curb the malpractice.

He added that the malpractice impacts negatively on all Malawians.

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“If left unchecked, counterfeit currency can adversely affect the economy as it negatively impacts prices and also undermines the credibility of the legal tender,” Kabambe said.

He, however, played down the magnitude of the problem in the country, stressing that the 2,752 counterfeit notes that were able to circulate in the system between January 2016 and the present are just a fraction compared to the 196.8 billion legal notes currently in circulation.

Inspector General of Police, Lexten Kachama, lauded RBM for the move, stressing that it enhances efforts the police have been making to curb the vice.

“The issue of training contained in the MoU is very vital as it will equip law enforcement officers and other relevant stakeholders with knowledge, skills and best practices to successfully detect and investigate currency counterfeiting,” Kachama said.

Executive Director, Lyness Mkungula, said the move would help them to stay alert and differentiate legal tender from counterfeits.

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