ITS FAKE! Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited employees Monica Kayuni (left), Jacqueline Sadicky (centre) and Jane Chiponde look with consternation at the counterfeit 10,000/- notes collected on Monday by the companys cashier from the CRDB Bank, Lumumba Branch, in Dar es Salaam. (Photo by Robert Okanda) By ABDUEL ELINAZA, 15th February 2011 @ 20:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 669 CIRCULATION of counterfeit new 10,000/- bank notes hardly two months after being introduced has reached alarming proportions as some of it has landed into some banks and is being issued to clients as legal money. A Daily News survey has established the massive presence of the counterfeit money in the market, with many people testifying coming into its possession unsuspectingly. A number of people interviewed by this newspaper have reported coming into trouble for being found in possession of fake 10,000/- notes. Among the latest victims of the counterfeit money syndicate are employees of Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited, publishers of the 'Daily News', 'Sunday News', 'HabariLEO' and 'HabariLEO Jumapili'. The public newspaper firm received what is believed to be the largest single supply from a commercial bank of counterfeit newly-introduced 10,000/- bank notes. It all started when a number of TSN employees went to the companys cashier to collect allowances for the Maulid Day celebrations only to find out that some of the notes were fake. On closer scrutiny of the security marks, most of the over 700 notes had the same serial numbers - BE 1164366, BE 1164362 and BE 1167437. The cashier had gone to CRDB Bank, Lumumba Branch, in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday to withdraw 11m/-, out of which about 700,000/- turned out to be counterfeit money. According to the cashier, the cash he was given by one of the banks tellers did not contain the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) seal despite being new. The money was rubber-banded in 1m/- bundles. But the CRDB Bank branch where TSN is among its loyal customers, denied issuing fake money when the companys Finance Department and the cashier reported the irregularity to the bank on Tuesday. The branchs manager, Mr A. Fungo, denied responsibility, saying the matter should have been reported to the bank immediately "in accordance with regulations. The CRDB Director of Marketing and Research, Ms Tully Mwambapa, said they are 100 per cent sure that their teller was innocent. "Regulations clearly stipulate that the receiver should count and verify the money before leaving the counter, she added. According to Ms Mwambapa, the CCTV camera recorded the transaction clearly. "Your cashier accepted the money and left. Its impossible for us (CRDB) to accept responsibility after the withdrawer had left the bank for hours. But given the volume of the money withdrawn, it was not possible for the cashier to countercheck each and every note at the tellers counter. Besides, it has been learnt that the branch lacks counting machines that are equipped with fake money detecting devices. The senior CRDB Bank official ruled out the possibility of teller involvement after reviewing the CCTV camera, adding that it was impossible for the teller to enter the counter with any package. However, she failed to give a convincing answer when asked if the teller could have received the money from a depositor pretending to be genuine customer as cameras could not detected the fake bills. But the issue of banks being used to filter currencies is not new as early this year, a Dar es Salaam resident, Ms Fausta Musokwa, was given fake old bank bills after withdrawing money from Barclays Bank. Ms Musokwa realised that she had been goofed when she wanted to bank the money in another bank. Barclays later refunded the amount after she lodged a complaint. The Governor of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Prof Benno Ndulu, was not available to comment on the issue on Wednesday as he was reportedly engaged in meetings since morning. But his secretary told the 'Daily News' that the governor was briefed on the matter and has asked the newspaper to contact the responsible bank to clarify over the issue. Addressing a news conference early this month, the BoT chief restated that the newly-issued banknotes were durable and difficult to imitate, noting, however, that unscrupulous people had already sprung into the economy with counterfeits. Prof Ndulu dismissed concerns over the alleged poor quality of the new banknotes, reassuring that there was no problem with them, but quickly warned the public to be on their guard against counterfeits of the same that were already in circulation. Were aware some unscrupulous persons have already started copying the new currency, and Ive personally seen one, Prof Ndulu admitted. A senior economics lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Dr Donath Olomi, told the 'Daily News' on Tuesday that fake money increases inflationary pressure on the system, as they amplify money in circulation.