The number of attempts to pay with fake euro banknotes in Lithuania, which joined the eurozone almost a month ago, is on the decline, the central bank's governor said on Thursday.
Vitas Vasiliauskas
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

"I don' think this is a problem. That was the first wave. Statistically, the number of euro counterfeits does not exceed the European average. I believe this was the first attempt to take advantage of people's inexperience. The number of such cases is declining now," Vitas Vasiliauskas told reporters after the presentation of a 50-euro gold collector coin at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius.

Large quantities of cash litas and exchanging them for euros caused most problems during the changeover period, but the process went smoothly, the Bank of Lithuania's governor said.

"It was an intensive period. I think the process was really smooth. Overall, I can give a positive assessment," he said.

According to the latest data from the Police Department, 194 pretrial investigations have been opened and 250 possibly fake banknotes have been removed from circulation since early January.

Interior Minister Saulius Skvernelis said last week that 20 confirmed counterfeit euro notes had been found in the market, but 127 pretrial investigations were still ongoing and 264 notes with a total value of over 10,000 euros had been removed from circulation.

The minister added that all fake euro notes found in Lithuania had been made abroad.

BNS
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