Measures and activities in the fight against counterfeit money – the fight against this phenomenon continues


Money counterfeiting is one of the oldest criminal offenses and poses a danger and concern to all countries without exception. In order to preserve the integrity of money in circulation, the fight against this phenomenon is a daily activity of all responsible institutions without excluding the general public here.

At the end of 2023, the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo successfully coordinated inter-institutional meetings to draft and implement effective strategies to fight the circulation of counterfeit money, especially 2 Euro coins. Through clear measures and coordinated actions, such as removal of fees for depositing coins, ensuring the supply of economy with new coins via commercial banks and regulatory amendments regarding cross-border transportation of coins, a significant number of counterfeit coins were withdrawn from circulation.

More precisely, from December 2023 until March 2024, business and citizens deposited two million coins in the denomination of 2 Euros in commercial banks, which were then withdrawn from circulation and deposited in the CBK. Similarly, the CBK and commercial banks have detected and prevented entry into financial system by withdrawing from circulation 47,168 coins in denominations of 2 Euros, suspected as counterfeit. The CBK supplied the economy of the Republic of Kosovo, via commercial banks, with 6.75 million new coins of all denominations without applying a fee. This commitment contributed to the decrease in circulation of counterfeit coins, facilitated identification and increased public awareness in this regard.

In implementation of the regulatory measures, through the Regulation on Cash Operations, regarding the regulation of the cross-border transport of coins in order to prevent the introduction of counterfeit money, natural persons and legal entities that do not carry out financial activities are obliged to declare coins if they carry more than 100 pieces/units, despite the fact that their value is below the declaration limit of 10,000 (ten thousand) euros. Similarly, as a result of respective measures, the number of 500 (five hundred) euro banknotes withdrawn from circulation and deposited in the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo exceeded 230,000 (two hundred and thirty thousand) pieces/units or over 115 (one hundred and fifteen) million euros. This action, in addition to helping in terms of reducing the risk of counterfeit money, directly contributed to the respective strategy against informality and related phenomena.

The CBK continues to encourage citizens and businesses to deposit their coins in commercial banks at no cost and to report any suspicious attempts to introduce counterfeit money into circulation by counterfeiters to the responsible authorities. Businesses are also encouraged to get their coin supply only through commercial banks and avoid unofficial channels.

The CBK reiterates its position and recommends that:

  • To the extent possible, avoid the use of cash in purchases and replace it with card and electronic payments;
  • When paying in cash, pay attention to the currencies they accept;
  • Banks and non-bank financial institutions should promote electronic payments and extend the network of devices for bank card payments;
  • Businesses that accept cash increase their efforts by investing in technologies that detect counterfeit money and move towards reducing cash as a means of payment; and
  • Citizens, based on the law, report to the responsible authority (Kosovo Police) any suspicion of an attempt to introduce counterfeit money into circulation by counterfeiters.

The CBK re-confirms its full commitment to support every effort to fight against counterfeit money and encourages the continuation of preventive and educational measures.

The CBK expresses its deep gratitude to all citizens and businesses that have contributed and helped in these activities of the fight against this phenomenon, alongside the responsible and cooperating state institutions in these efforts, which despite all the positive results, must continue and are permanent challenges.