Counterfeit Money Floods Southern Iraq's Market

Article Summary
Recent problems with counterfeit currency in Iraq are spiraling out of control in the country’s southern provinces, writes Ahmad Wahid. These currencies are over-saturating the market and causing Iraqis to lose faith in the Central Bank. Committees and educational programs are working to combat the problem, but the source is still unknown. 

Local governments in southern Iraq are joining efforts to form special committees for controlling the counterfeit currency that is flooding Iraq’s markets, officials said.

Abdel Hady al-Hassany from the State of Law Coalition said, “We have recently noticed how widespread counterfeit currency is, especially in 10,000 Iraqi Dinar denominations. The reasons and sources for this phenomenon are unknown.”

Al-Hassany confirmed that “the Prime Minister wants to form committees in Basra and other southern provinces where counterfeit currency is rampant, in order to determine the sources of these currencies and to restore public confidence in the local currency.”

The Central Bank must prepare a thorough study to withdraw all counterfeit currencies from the market, Al-Hassany added. Educational programs must also raise awareness among citizens and help them identify counterfeit notes.    

Recently, several shop and workshop owners in Basra (490 km south of Baghdad) have refused to accept 10,000 Dinar notes. Even salaries are no longer paid using these particular notes.

Al-Hayat received a copy of the statement issued by the Central Bank of Iraq’s Basra branch, which included a statement from the Deputy Governor of the Bank.

He confirmed that “cash should be received exclusively from banks when converting currencies, to prevent counterfeit currencies from entering the economy.”  
According to the same statement, refusing to receive cash directly from individuals is an effective way to prevent counterfeit currencies from entering banks.

“The Central Bank has adopted counterfeit currency detection technology, as well as other preventative measures,” added the statement.

In the Dhi Qar province, the local government appointed a special committee to follow up on counterfeit currencies in the province. “The special governmental committee is entrusted with monitoring, controlling, and dealing with counterfeit and illegal currencies circulating in the province,” confirmed Deputy Governor Hassan Laayouss.

The statement mentioned that the Cabinet order that a follow-up committee be formed to track counterfeit currencies, especially now that these currencies — including the 10,000 Dinar note — have become so widespread.

Found in: iraqi central bank, iraq, economic, crime, corruption, business

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