Euro is a single currency shared by 18 Member states of the Euro area and has been in use for more than 330 million people living in that area. It is also used in International trading transactions at a large scale and serves as important reserve currency for the third countries, making it the second most important national currency in the whole world. The value of Euro notes circulating worldwide, almost 913 billion Euro in January 2013 is almost same as that of US dollar bills.
'Euro' is, however, a target of the organized crime groups active in the forgery of money. Counterfeiting of Euro has led to a financial damage of at least 500 million Euro since the introduction of single currency in 2002. However, data collected during the framework of a study of the European Counterfeiting Experts Group indicate that a high number of illegal print shops were discovered in those member States in the last decades, which have no minimum sanctions in place only have fines for counterfeiting of currency as their minimum sanctions, allowing counterfeiters to make use of 'Forum Shopping'.
In the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER II) on February 19th the Member States confirmed the political agreement reached by the Greek EU Council Presidency on negotiations with the European Parliament on a proposal for a Directive in order to protect the Euro and other currencies against counterfeiting of Currency by criminal law.
The main objective is to strengthen the protection of Euro and other currencies against counterfeiting and also to combat the risk of 'forum shopping'. However, it also provides effective and deterring measures.The Directive even requires the member states to ensure that National Analytics Centre and National Coin Analysis Centres are able to detect the Euro counterfeits during the ongoing judicial proceedings, in order to detect further counterfeit Euros in circulation. However, according to the International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency (Geneva Convention) and its principles of non-discrimination of other currencies foreseen in Article 5, all countries might gain from the increased protection of Euro.
'Today's political agreement in the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER II) on the Directive on the protection of the Euro and other currencies against counterfeiting, a priority of the Greek Presidency in the area of criminal law, is of major importance. Euro-counterfeiting, one of the so called 'euro-crimes' of Article 83(1) TFEU, a particularly serious area of crime with a cross-border dimension, is a typically organized crime activity and of special concern due to the importance of the Euro throughout the European Union and worldwide. The new Directive addresses the weaknesses of the existing legal framework and constitutes a better basis to prevent, investigate and sanction euro-counterfeiting in a consistent manner throughout the Union', said Minister of Justice, Transparacy and Human Rights Charalampos Athanasiou.
DECISION ON ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATIONAL COUNTERFEIT CENTRE, NATIONAL ANALYSIS CENTRE AND COIN NATIONAL ANALYSIS CENTRE.
Article 1. Establishment and Purpose
1) The National Counterfeit Centre (NCC), the National Analysis Centre (NAC) and the Coin National Analysis Centre (CNAC) shall be established within the Croatian National Bank.
2) The National Counterfeit Centre, the National Analysis Centre and the Coin National Analysis Centre shall be established for the purpose of taking and implementing measures for prevention and detection of counterfeiting at a national level and for the purpose of cooperation with the competent authorities in the country and abroad in the areas of prevention and detection of counterfeiting.
Article 2. Competence of the National Counterfeit Centre
1) The National Counterfeit Centre shall be competent to collect all statistical and technical information which are related to counterfeits, classify counterfeits, establish the counterfeit monitoring system consisting of a central database as well as to administer access to the information to authorized users.
2) The National Counterfeit Centre shall establish all statistical and technical information relating to counterfeits within the counterfeit monitoring system, including a detailed content of database containing data on seized and detected counterfeits with their images, functions necessary to administer the system, the network and means of communication, as well as security standards.
3) The National Counterfeit Centre shall also determine the content and the form of reports on fake counterfeit bank notes and counterfeit coins. The National Counterfeit Centre shall also be competent to prepare and disclose information on counterfeits, discovered in cooperation with the competent authorities in the country and abroad.
4) The National Counterfeit Centre shall be competent to prepare template agreements with competent authorities in the country and abroad on cooperation in areas of prevention and detection of counterfeiting and for cooperation with manufacturers of various devices for verifying the authenticity of bank notes.
5) The National Counterfeit Centre shall organize and carry out training of employees of financial institutions and other interested parties handling bank notes and coins in order to prevent and detect counterfeits.
6) The National Counterfeit Centre shall take all necessary steps to ensure that there is no breach of copyright of the designs of various bank notes.
Article 3. Competence of the National Analytics Centre
1) The National Analysis Centre shall be competent to analyze all samples of suspected counterfeit banknotes and to prepare reports on discovered banknotes that were counterfeited.
2) The National Analysis Centre shall store all samples of detected counterfeit notes.
Article 4. Competence of the Coin National Analysis Centre
1) The Coin National Analysis Centre shall be competent to analyze all samples of suspected counterfeit coins and to prepare reports on discovered counterfeit coins.
2) The Coin National Analysis Centre shall store all samples of detected counterfeit coins.
3) The Coin Analysis Centre shall also be competent to analyze all medals and tokens that are similar to coins in circulation and to establish circumstances in which the production and sale of medals and tokens, and their importation and distribution for sale or for any other commercial purposes are permitted or prohibited in order to protect coins in circulation that are legal tenders.
Article 5. Transitional and Final provisions
This particular decision shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall also enter into force on 1 March 2009.
REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE HANDLING OF SUSPECTED COUNTERFEIT MONEY
1. LAW ON THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR SUPPRESSION OF COUNTERFEITING CURRENCY
' The Convention stipulates punishments for any fraudulent making or alteration of the currency and uttering of counterfeit currency with knowledge of it being counterfeit.
' Attempt to commit foregoing acts are punishable.
' In the scale of punishments, no distinction is allowed between offences like acts relating to domestic or foreign currency.
' Even making, receiving or obtaining instruments peculiarly adapted for counterfeiting or alteration of currency is punishable.
' Counterfeiting currency and other instruments or articles that are used for counterfeiting shall be confiscated and seized and handed over to the government or bank of issue whose currency is being questioned.
' Every country which is being a part of the Convention shall establish its central office which is in close contact with central offices of other participating countries, police authorities and institutions issuing currency, and should fight together against counterfeiting currency. Ex:- exchanging information on new currency issues, withdrawal of currency from circulation, time limits for money replacement, discovery of counterfeits and exchange of forged banknotes etc.
2. OFFENCES AGAINST ECONOMIC INTERESTS
' Whoever produces forged money with the intent of putting it in circulation as genuine or who with the same intent alters genuine money, shall be punished with imprisonment of up to 2 or 12 years.
' Whoever procures forged money with the intention of circulating it as real or who puts forged money in circulation, shall be punished with imprisonment of 1 to 10 years.
' if the offence specified in para 1 and 2 of this article forged money is produced, altered, circulated or procured in an amount exceeding 1 million five hundred thousand dinars and/or a corresponding amount in foreign currency, imprisonment may be from 5 years up to 15 years.
' Whoever accepts a forged money as genuine, and upon having knowledge that it is counterfeit, puts it in circulation or whoever knows that forged money is produced or that the money has been put into circulation and fails to report it, shall be punished with imprisonment of up to 1 year.
' Forged money shall be impounded
3. Article 227 Making, Acquiring and Giving to Another of Means for Counterfeiting
' Whoever makes, acquires, sells or gives to another to use means for producing forged money or forged securities, shall be punished by imprisonment of six months to five years.
' Whoever makes, acquires, sells or gives to another to use means for producing forged credit cards or forged value tokens, shall be punished of imprisonment up to 2 years.
' The means specified in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article shall be impounded.
4. Article 58.Law on National Bank of Serbia
' Counterfeit banknotes and counterfeit or damaged coins shall not be legal tender.
' If bank notes and coins being legal tenders or foreign banknotes are suspected of being counterfeit, the authencity of the National Bank of Serbia shall be established.
' Banknotes and coins referred in Para 1 of this article shall be discovered to the National Bank of Serbia without any compensation
' The manner of acting with banknotes and coins referred to in paragraph 2 of this article shall be prescribed by the national Bank of Serbia.
' National Bank of Serbia shall also prescribe the conditions under which the bank notes and coins in circulation or withdrawn from circulation shall be produced.
5. DECISION ON HANDLING SUSPECTED COUNTERFEIT MONEY
' Banks and licensed exchanged dealers shall verify the authenticity of money received from clients, the money being processed and money being paid out to clients, and shall also submit the suspected counterfeit money to the National Bank of Serbia for expertise.
' If the person delivering suspected counterfeit money is present at the moment when such suspicion is acknowledged, the bank and the licensed exchange dealer shall inform this person and the ministry of Interior without delay. The suspected counterfeit money shall be temporarily seized from the person delivering money.
' If the person delivering money has a diplomatic passport, the bank and licensed exchange dealer shall act as specified in Para 1, in case of which the Ministry of Interiors shall not be informed.
' The Department shall submit the report to the bank on completion of expertise of suspected counterfeit. The report shall even specify whether the money is counterfeit or genuine. If counterfeit money is determined, its quality, indicative and type shall be determined.
' Money counterfeits shall be according to the quality of their production or the degree of similarity to genuine money as follows:
a) Poor quality counterfeits
b) Medium quality counterfeits
c) Good quality counterfeits
d) Very good quality counterfeits
e) Finest quality counterfeits
' The Department shall also deliver the appropriate value of the money in the same currency or shall credit the same amount in the bank, if the genuineness of the money is determined.
' The bank shall also ensure that the money is immediately returned to the person delivering the money or ensuring that this person's account is credited by the same amount.
' The National Bank of Serbia shall also organize training for employees in banks, licensed exchange dealers and the Ministry of Interior, in order to familiarise them with the money security features and enable them to detect counterfeit money more efficiently.
6. DECISION ON CONDITIONS FOR THE REPRODUCTION OF BANKNOTES AND COINS
This decision sets forth the conditions that are to be met for the reproduction of banknotes and coins issued by the National bank of Serbia in line with the Law on National Bank of Serbia. Banknotes and coins referred to in Para 1 shall be understood to mean circulation of banknotes and coins, or banks and coins withdrawn from circulation but whose redemption deadline has not expired.
'Reproduction' means any electronic or tangible image that uses all or part of a banknote or coin, whereas such an image gives a general impression of the banknote or coin referred to in Section 1, particularly in case of :
' One-sided reproductions, provided that the size of the reproduction is at least 125% of both length and width or at most 75% of both length and width of the respective banknote or coin;
' Two sided reproductions, provided that the size of reproduction is atleast 200% of both of both the length and width or at most 50% of both the length and width of the respective banknote or coin;
' Electronic reproduction whose resolution does not exceed 72 dots per inch.
COUNTERFEITING CURRENCY: CANADA
Counterfeiting of currency has been made easier and more economical since advancement of technology, although counterfeit banknotes make up a very small percentage of all banknotes in circulation.
However, in 2004, high concentrations of counterfeit notes were being passed into circulation, which was experienced by Canada.
In 2006, Economic Integrity was adopted as a new strategic priority by RCMP that focused on preventing, detecting and deterring crimes that affect the Canadian economy. The Bank of Canada, the RCMP and other law enforcement agencies, using an integrated approach, worked cooperatively through enforcement and education to reduce counterfeit currency levels in Canada. These efforts have led to a marked decrease in counterfeit Canadian currency, which has fallen to a historical 10 year lows.
However, it is still important for the Canadians to be diligent while authenticating their money, despite lower levels in counterfeit activity.
The National Anti-counterfeiting Bureau (NACB) is located in Ottawa, at the RCMP Forensic Laboratory. The NACB is the central repository for all counterfeit currency in Canada. The authenticity of all suspected banknotes is analyzed at the NACB. It also maintains extensive statistical data that aids in establishing counterfeit trends and links associated with counterfeit occurrences.
Counterfeit Analysis Program
The Counterfeit Analysis program (CAP) is a support service operating under the guidance of the RCMP Commercial Crime Branch. The Canadian Law enforcement Agencies involved in the investigation of counterfeit currency offences are provided counterfeit currency intelligence and analytical support by the abovementioned program. CAP personnel work closely with the National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau and the Bank of Canada for identification of regional and national trends and areas of concentrated counterfeit currency activity.
Detection of Counterfeit- Know Your Money
Even with new technology, an exact duplicate of a genuine banknote is unable to be produced by a counterfeiter- a counterfeit being an inferior copy of the original. A good counterfeit, however, looks like a real deal in the first glance. However, it takes only a few seconds to detect a fake, if one knows what to look for and feel for.
What to do in case one has a Counterfeit Banknote
Cash handlers must ensure their own safety, while dealing with people who attempt to pass Counterfeit Bank notes:
' Be careful especially during busy periods as this is when counterfeit notes are more likely to be passed
' Pay particular attention to customers who pay with banknotes of much higher denomination than what is needed
' Keep the suspicious banknote and record all relevant information (denomination, serial number, etc.)
' Contact your local police force
' Record the details about the circumstances and the person(s) who give the suspect note
' Give the suspicious banknote to the police and request for a receipt. The note would then be returned to you if it is genuine
' However, someone passing a counterfeit banknote could be an innocent victim of the crime
' The Bank of Canada is the only institution which is authorized to issue Canadian banknotes
' Canadian banknotes worth $46 billion dollars are currently in circulation amongst which $20 denomination is the most frequently used note
' Cash remains the preferred method of payment for a transaction under $25 and the second most commonly used method of payment for transactions of $26-$100
' Bank of Canada provides no protection for someone who accepts a counterfeit banknote, whereas victims of credit card fraud are usually protected from financial loss by the issuer of their card.
' Sometimes the losses suffered by victims, consumers or retailers can be substantial, forcing these businesses to increase their prices, which ultimately costs all Canadians
' Large scale counterfeit currency activity in Canada is facilitated by organized crime groups involved in other criminal activities including, weapons offences, drugs and identity theft
' Possession, use or creation of counterfeit currency is an indictable offence punishable by up to 14 years in prison
On 3rd August, 2012 Justice J.F Palmer imposed a sentence of prison time up to 42 months on Mathieu Flynn of Vancouver. Mathieu Flynn was not a small time crook, but a millionaire, also known as entrepreneur of sorts. In the drawers of his Coquitlam home the RCMP found his secret stash consisting of piles and piles of $100, $50 and $20 bills.
Counterfeiting is also called, 'the world's second oldest profession.' China introduced the concept of paper money for the first time in 1200s. During this course, mulberry trees used in making paper money had to be guarded to prevent counterfeiters. However, the the penalty for counterfeiting at that time was death by beheading. In the 7th century, Chinese paper money carried a similar warning 'to counterfeit is death' Ming notes read. At the time of the American Civil War, fake money became a huge problem since coins and paper money came into use, estimating one third of currency in circulation as counterfeit.
However, modern day security measures to combat this practise of counterfeiting are often high tech. The use of holographic designs, UV lit text and micro printing have been in use by most countries. Investigators also make use of modern forms of communication such as social networking sites in their search for those committing fraud.
However, Bank of Canada's analyst told the courts during Mathieu Flynns trial 'Counterfeiters cannot replicate our bills; they are only able to mimic certain features. That's what they prey on to get past certain retailers.'
The Bank of Canada introduced a new polymer banknote in the fall of 2012. However, many countries joined the Reserve Bank of Australia, like New Zealand and Vietnam. Thus, there are a few benefits of the new Polymer bank note. A few vending machine owners around the country, whose machines are still not adjusted to accept the new currency or Mona Billiards young son whose $800 melted next to a radiator, might not argue or comment on this issue. However, there is less environmental impact and more increase in the available security features to prevent counterfeiting.
Despite this a change from the traditional banknote to the scientifically enhanced polymer note, counterfeiting has continued to be a major problem, proving as advancements in security measures are put in place fraudsters adapt to these changes. A warning was issued by the Winnipeg police in January 2013, regarding the circulation of $100 dollar notes. However, various warnings were issued to businessmen and consumers. Some of them being careful inspection of notes, obtaining personal details of those issuing fake notes if considered safe and informing the police immediately.
However, the Bank of Canada unveiled the newest additions on the 30th of April, to its sets of polymer notes a 5$ and 10$ dollar bill. The notes being an attractive addition, the $5 dollar note is a vibrant blue coloured note featuring pictures of robots like Dexter, which continue maintaining the International Space Station. However, the $10 dollar bill is a violet and purple masterpiece with a picture of Rocky Mountains and a travelling train.
FOREX TRADING IN THE NEW WORLD
The Daily foreign exchange trading volume is $4 trillion. Foreign Exchange, aka Forex help in determination of the value of currency. The value is set by buyers and sellers in the 24 hour market exchange of currencies. Forex is also conducted by many different participants around the clock, multinational corporations, commercial banks etc.
Potential traders must be familiar with the concept of trading. Forex market even supplies online trading tools, educational videos, and even one-on-one training via seminars and E-Books. Potential traders should even follow the money reports at major news outlets.
Currency trading is considered as another market where the goal is to buy low and to sell high. The success achieved in trading Forex is to find out the difference between exchange rates of two currencies. Trading activity with the international banks and foreign governments has been going on around the globe, operating in a 24 hour a day spot market. Therefore, what does exist is a worldwide network dealing in currency in what amounts to over-the-counter trades.
Participants of the forex market are either buyers or sellers. Buyer price being the BID and the sellers price being ASK. Seller offers currency at a higher price while the Buyer bids low.
Thus, the registered currency traders offer insight into real-time trading activity and processing speed, due to training done on an Electronic Trading Network. While profits are made, occurance of losses are common, thus it bears the repeating that you only invest what you afford to lose and your first goal is to understand the risks.
WHO TRADES AND INVESTS
' Major Banks
' Electronic Brokering Services
' Medium sized banks
' Small sized banks
' Retail market makers
' Retail ECN's
' Hedge Funds
' Commercial companies
' Retail traders
The interbank market includes the world's largest banks and a few smaller banks, participants trading directly with each other or electronically through the EBS or Reuters Dealing 3000-Spot Matching. The competition for market shares and clients takes place between EBS and Reuters Dealing 3000-Spot Matching.
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