Counterfeiters Foiled by their own Idiocy

by Erin McCune on October 25, 2007

in Caught My Eye, Security

Forgive me this somewhat off-topic post, but it made me laugh out loud.

Excerpted from Dave Birch at Digital Money Forum:

[Dave Birch] It's amazing to me — no, not amazing, more kind of quaint, reassuring and comforting — that in this high-technology e-money world, there are crooks who still try to rob banks the old fashioned way. Not the modern way (by working for them as traders) but the old fashioned way. There are still people out there who rob banks with shotguns. And there are still people out there who make dodgy banknotes. An example being the gang of Chinese counterfeiters currently on trial in London for attempting to defraud the Bank of England of more than TWENTY EIGHT BILLION POUNDS. Yes, that's right. They tried to cheat the Bank of England out of more than FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS by swapping 360 "special-issue" £500,000 notes and and 28 million £1,000 notes for lower denominations. Unfortunately, there were two tiny flaws in their masterplan: the Bank of England has never issued a £500,000 note and £1,000 notes were taken out of circulation in 1943 (and there are only 63 of them not accounted for). The criminal geniuses tried to get the Bank of England to accept £1,000 notes with the signature of Jasper Holland, the chief cashier in 1963. Now, far be it from me to criticize — I know virtually nothing about counterfeiting — but c'mon guys. Didn't anyone think that the Bank of England might double-check if someone turns up with twenty eight billion pounds in used notes? The only way to get away with this kind of thing is to skim off a small amount from each legitimate note in circulation (like the Chancellor of the Exchequer does).

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Read more about the hapless counterfeiters:

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