Fake euros accepted as payment in Kosovo

Lazy eyes listen


Baristas in Kosovo cafes have stopped scrutinising €2 coins for validity because the majority of them are counterfeit, and the exceptional quality of the counterfeits makes distinguishing them from genuine currency nearly impossible.

“At first, everyone was worried and checking to see if the €2 coins were fake or not,” a server at a Pristina cafe told Reuters. He claimed that coins were examined by holding them up to the light or dropping them on a surface to hear the sound they made.

“Now we don’t check anymore… we may be taking or giving out fake money,” he explained. “It is all the same.”

This year has seen a significant increase in the number of counterfeit €2 coins in circulation.

The euro is used in Kosovo and in neighboring Montenegro, even though they are not are not part of the Eurozone.

Six of the 11 €2 coins in her cash register turned found to be fraudulent, according to an unnamed shopkeeper. She went on to say that because there were so many of them around, she had no choice but to accept them.

During the first half of this year, scientists at the Pristina police forensic laboratory evaluated over 30,000 counterfeit €2 coins, up from 4,451 in the same period last year.

“Previously, the fake coins were not magnetic, but now they are; previously, they had weight issues, but now they match the genuine ones,” Vjollca Mavriqi, a counterfeit money expert at the lab, told the agency.