Counterfeit Prevention

Check - Prevent - Report

Know Your Notes

Maintaining public confidence in currency is one of the main responsibilities of the Central Bank. Accordingly, the Currency Department of the Central Bank has improved security features of currency notes during the recent years under review to make it more difficult to counterfeit. Nevertheless, the Central Bank conduct awareness programmes on security features of genuine currency notes to enhance knowledge of law enforcement officers, cash handlers, students and the general public to enable them to distinguish between genuine currency notes and counterfeits.

The general public should be aware of the security features in the currency notes. If you know your notes, you will be able to detect a counterfeit at a glance and protect yourself from frauds.

Dealing with Suspicious Money

Counterfeiting is an offence under the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Act No.16 of 2023 and is punishable with imprisonment or a fine or both, under Sections 478 A-D of the Penal Code.

What to do if you suspect that you have been offered a counterfeit note during a transaction:

1.Compare the suspected note to one which you know is genuine
     -  Look at more than one security feature
     -  Retain the suspected counterfeit note

2. Record any details about the person(s) who brought the counterfeit note
     -  Physical description
     -  Vehicle information
     -  Where the person was last seen 

3. Record the details about the currency note
     -  Denomination 
     -  Serial number

4. Contact the nearest Police Station
     -  Immediately inform the Currency Counterfeit Bureau of CID Hotline: 0112422176 or 0112326670 and act on their advice or inform the nearest Police Station.

Impact of Counterfeiting

The risk of counterfeiting is more prominent in higher denomination currency notes. It could provide a convenient means for money laundering and underground economic activities. However, these drawbacks can be addressed effectively to a large extent by taking precautionary measures.

The risk of counterfeiting could be reduced by the use of advanced security features built into higher value notes and increasing alertness of the public when accepting such notes. This would require enhancement of public awareness through appropriate measures.

The Currency Department of the Central Bank works in close cooperation with the Counterfeit Currency Bureau of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in order to detect and eliminate counterfeit notes from circulation.