Fake or counterfeit currencies are like termites in any economy. This is one of the reasons for economic fluctuation and in worst case scenario, bankruptcy.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not exempted on this dilemma. Despite the fact that the Kingdom has very strong controls over the prevention and detection of fake currencies, human error and limitation is one of the reasons why there are still circulating news about fake currencies that are heard once in a while. Like every country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does also have the right to protect its economic status to maintain stability. For this reason, heavy fines and penalties are imposed to individuals caught faking and making use of bogus currencies.
It can be very tough to contemplate how much fake currencies are circulating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but what is known is that they are there, and they exist. Because fake currencies cannot be completely ruled out, and there is still a possibility for fake currencies to slip out, it is important for the general public to be aware of how to identify fake currencies and what to do if an individual gets one accidentally.
What should be done when a suspicious banknote is handed over?
An individual should not take the currency if he or she is certain that it is counterfeited. A police station must immediately be contacted and a report should be filed about the person who handed over the fake currency. On the other hand, if an individual is uncertain as to whether or not the currency is fake, he or she may ask this person to replace the banknote.
To verify whether a banknote is genuine or not, it can be presented to the nearest branch of a commercial bank or any of (SAMA) branches for checking.
It is also possible to contact SAMA directly at: Phone: 00966 1 4662779, Fax: 00966 1 4662980 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What should be done if an individual discovers that he or she holds a counterfeited banknote?
If an individual is sure and can remember the person who handed the money to him or her, then that person can be reported to the police station. However, if an individual is not sure or cannot recall who handed the currency, he or she will still need to contact the nearest police station or SAMA branch to entrust the fake currency and answer several questions pertaining to the incident and how the fake currency got to the individual.
What are the penalties for a person caught dealing with counterfeited currencies?
Anti-forgery regulations state that any individual found guilty of crimes such as making and dealing with fake Saudi riyals shall be punishable with a jail sentence between 5 and 25 years and would further be fined with an amount ranging from SR30,000 to SR 500,000. This punishment is also in accordance to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s penal code. Furthermore, the same punishment applies to those in possession of machines, materials, tools or equipment used in counterfeiting or duplicating currencies. In addition to this, those bringing counterfeited currencies into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or housing anyone will such illegal crimes shall also be punishable by the same penalty.