23 | MAR | 2019
Counterfeit money on the rise in Mexico
Last year, the central bank reported that there were 66.8 counterfeit pieces per every million of authentic pieces in circulation - Photo: Carlos Zepeda/EL UNIVERSAL

Counterfeit money on the rise in Mexico

02/03/2019
19:06
Leonor Flores
Mexico City
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Data from Mexico's central bank (Banxico) showed that the MXN$500 bill was the most counterfeited piece

During Mexico’s past administration, the counterfeiting of banknotes shot upwards, with 2018 showing the highest number of fake bills seized in the past six years: A total of 338,686, according to Mexico’s Central Bank (Banxico).

Around 1.73 million counterfeit bills were seized during the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, which represented a 12.5% increase with regard to the previous administration.

As for counterfeit coins, the central bank registered a total of 25,390 pieces during the administration of Peña Nieto, which was 38.1% more than the 18,375 cases that were reported in Felipe Calderón Hinojosa’s six-year period.

Thus, the number of counterfeit currency pieces (both bills and coins) totaled 1.76 million between 2013 and 2018, which is equivalent to around MXN$560.9 million. Data from Banxico showed that the MXN$500 bill was the most counterfeited piece in both governments.

Last year, the central bank reported that there were 66.8 counterfeit pieces for every million of authentic pieces in circulation. As for the MXN$500 bill, there were 70.9 counterfeit pieces per million.

In 2018, a total of 156,425 counterfeit MXN$500 bills were seized, which stands in contrast with the 43,115 bills seized in 2007.

The fight against counterfeiting

In 2011, Mexico’s Central Bank signed a collaboration agreement with the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), as well as with the Ministry of Interior (SEGOB) and the Federal Police’s National Security Commission in 2014 to prevent and fight counterfeiting.

As a result of the agreement, both the PGR and the Federal Police arrested an alleged counterfeiter in 2016 and secured numerous counterfeit bills and coins that were circulating in Mexico City and the State of Mexico, as well as other materials with which the suspects made the pieces.

During the operation, federal authorities seized 2,000 counterfeit MXN$50 bills.

Banknote and coin counterfeiting have shown an increase at the global scale in recent years. Although central banks throughout the world use the most advanced technology to prevent this sort of crime, it hasn’t stopped counterfeiters from achieving their unlawful objectives.
 

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