By Kefiloe Kajane
The Central Bank of Lesotho warns the public against accepting blue and green ink- stained South African banknotes.
The bank explained that the ink-stained banknotes are believed to be proceeds of crime from Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) that were looted during last week’s violence in some parts of South Africa.
In a statement issued this week, the bank said that ATMs, hold cash in special containers protected with dye-staining technology which activates when the container is broken open.
The statement further said that banknotes stained with security dye can no longer be redeemed or accepted as a means of payment. It also urged the public and the retail industry to refuse to accept these notes.
“The ink marks stolen banknotes to make them unusable and worthless, thus reducing the risk for retailers, banks and other cash handlers of becoming victims of crime. However, if a banknote is discovered by something other than this special security dye, it can be exchanged at any branch countrywide,” the statement read.
This is after the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) this week also released a statement explaining that people who are in possession of these notes make themselves suspects of a criminal investigation. It further explained that they will seek to determine if they were involved in the stealing and unauthorised access of these ATM containers.
SABRIC said it has also noticed an increase in the attempted circulation of dye-stained notes in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, following the destruction of multiple ATMs.
It cautioned the people of South Africa against accepting these dye-stained notes as legal tender as the onward use and value of these notes will not be honoured.
“You may also find yourself out of pocket after releasing goods or performing services because you will not be able to utilise the currency you were paid with. In addition, you also run the risk of being investigated, arrested and prosecuted for the destruction of these ATMs,” SABRIC statement said.