Bedroom forger: Zimbabwe's bond notes are already being counterfeited

2017-03-02 16:30
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Harare - It's only three months since Zimbabwe's not-very-popular bond notes were introduced to plug cash shortages - and already fakes are being printed.

The privately-owned News Day says police in Harare arrested a man believed to be printing the currency from his spare bedroom.

Elton Nyamudahondo, 33, is alleged to have been printing sheets of 5 US bond notes, the biggest denomination.

Detectives "found Nyamudahondo seated on a bed in a spare bedroom, while holding a Munich paper sheet which had four 5 US counterfeit bond notes printed on it", News Day said.

The paper says he led police to 31 fully-finished sheets of 5 US bond notes and 103 not-quite-done sheets. If each sheet contained four bond notes that would give a total of $2 680 worth of notes soon to be released onto Zimbabwe's cash-starved market, if the report is true.

There have been concerns about the security of the bond notes, currently available in denominations of 2 US and 5 US (a 1 US bond coin is also in circulation). The 2 US bond notes are green, but the green colour rubs off easily. There were claims that the notes were being faked even before they were introduced.

President Robert Mugabe said at his 93rd birthday party on Saturday that the notes were only "temporary". But with reports that the authorities plan soon to introduce the bills in denominations of 10 US and 20 US, there are fears they'll go the way of Zimbabwe's bearer cheques in the pre-2009 era and quickly be rendered worthless.

While in theory bond notes have no value outside Zimbabwe, they are being traded on online auction site Ebay where sellers are asking up to $7.59 for a 2 US bond note

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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