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#2 - JRL 7216
June 9, 2003
About 50 Percent of US Dollars in Russia Are Forged
Experts say that fake dollars have already obtained perfect quality level

About 560 billion dollar cash circulates in the world at present. About 70 percent of this cash is used beyond American borders. The USA believes that Russia comes second (after the USA itself) from the point of view of the dollar cash circulation in the world. About 363 million fake dollars were confiscated worldwide during 1929-1995. Only one-third of that sum was withdrawn from the circulation in the States. The fake dollar boom occurred in 1993, when 120 million fake dollars were seized outside the USA.

Russian banks received of fake dollar numbers in 1993, for it was believed at that time that there was no other way to detect them. Kevin Rodgers, a special agent of the American secret service of the Treasury, visited Russia in 2000. "I was surprised to know that fake money is not an issue for Russian authorities. They have a well-developed system to find and withdraw fake dollars in Russia," Kevin Rodgers stated. The agent was so wrong.

According to the information from the Russian Federation Central Bank, Russian people have up to 25 billion dollars, and one-third of them is probably forged. US dollars make 97,5 percent of all fake currencies of the world. The Russian Interior Ministry said that 42,352 fake dollar notes had been withdrawn in Russia in 2002 - four million dollars, that is. There were 23,000 forged money crimes registered in 2002, but only 2,700 of them were disclosed, since about 60 percent of fake notes had been withdrawn from banks.

Any ultra protection has its ultra forgery. Cocoa beans used to be a Mexican currency centuries ago. Mexican people cut cocoa pods and changed real cocoa beans to other beans and then glued pods together. Russian forgers managed to make perfect five-ruble coins: the Russian bank put new five-ruble coins into circulation in January of 1998, whereas fake coins appeared already in March. Specialists had to acknowledge that those fake coins were excellent. However, a 100-dollar note has always been the most popular note for forgers.

Forgers use the same technology for their fake dollar notes: they use the same printing methods, the same paper, protection elements and even the same watermarks. A well-made fake 100-dollar note can go through any detector. Even American secret services do not know where they come from. The fake money quality has been growing recently. Experts say that fake dollar notes have already obtained supreme quality.

However, American money manufacturers often make mistakes in their production. For example, a lot of authentic dollars have their protective magnetic paint damaged. US dollars can be cut or printed improperly. Sometimes one can find dollars of pink and blue colors, as if they were washed together with jeans and then pressed. One can also find notes, on which one and the same American president has different facial expressions, there is even an official catalogue of such images. Needless to mention that all these facts complicate law-enforcement bodies' work to find and withdraw forged American dollars. One-third of all dollars in the world is forged. About 50 percent of US dollars that are circulated in Russia are forged as well. Every fifth 100-dollar note can hardly be distinguished from a real one.

M. Vostrikov Agropromcredit
Bank advisor

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