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Masvingo businesses sound fake notes worry
12/03/2014 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
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AN increase in the circulation of fake bank notes in Masvingo has forced business owners, particularly those in the old town's hospitality industry, to start recording serial numbers of every note received from clients to keep counterfeit currency off their tills.

A quick observation by NewZimbabwe.com in most lodges in the town has established that most workers have become too cautious to a point of recording the serial numbers of every note they receive.

Although the US dollar, now a de facto national currency in Zimbabwe, has distinct features which people can use to authenticate it, some businesses, especially in areas that largely use the South African rand, would still find it difficult to distinguish between genuine and fake notes.

Attendants at a number of hotels in the town can be seen asking clients to produce their national identity documents before the staffers take down the serial numbers of the notes that they would have tendered for accommodation.

They would both go through the identity features and agree before the customer appends his signature against the serial numbers.

"This is meant to curb the circulation of fake notes which has of late been characterising Masvingo," said one worker at Rose Lodge.

"We had a number of such cases here and our bosses thought of recording the serial numbers of the notes which a customer would have brought."

"If you have a fake note we know for certain that you will not be brave enough to produce your Identify documents details and append your signature."

"This practice makes it easy for us to trace the fraudsters and this has helped us a lot," a front office attendant at Good Hope accommodations also said.

NewZimbabwe.com established that the same caution was being exercised even at furniture shops in the town.

Provincial police spokesperson in Masvingo Chief Inspector Peter Zhanero denied cases of fraud involving fake notes were prevalent in the transit town but was quick to commend business operators for their cautious approach.

"What I can say at the moment is that the cases of such a nature are not as rampant as you are saying the business community has told you,” he said.

“But nevertheless that is a good measure which they have put in place and as the police we commend such steps which are aimed at curbing criminal activities.”


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