So far this year there’s been 17 cases of counterfeit money detected in the area: seven in Kouvola, four in Kotka and four in Lappeenranta – as well as individual instances in Hamina and Ruokolahti.
By comparison, there were only four offenses uncovered during the whole of last year in the region.
Most of the cases that have come to police attention have been discovered in banks or shops, when the counterfeit notes were already used as a means of payment but not detected as forgeries.
Although usually officers might expect large denomination notes to be forged, in this case there are also smaller denominations like fake €5 bills being used, and police say the quality of the counterfeiting is quite high.
Authorities are urging shops and businesses that take cash payments to use an authentication device, and start using it even for smaller value notes.