Cameroon: Counterfeit Bank Notes Infiltrate the Economy

The number of fake bank notes in circulation is a cause for concern.

The population of Douala, capital of the Littoral region, is still to come to terms to the increase in number of counterfeit bank notes. Of recent a good number of persons have been victims while some were smart enough to discover it in on the spot, others discovered it later and their culprits were nowhere to be found. Many mobile money transfer agents in Douala say the number of fake banknotes detected in the course of their daily operations is nearing alarming levels. Most of them held that counterfeit CFA 10.000, CFA 5.000 and CFA 2.000 are in circulation wildly since a couple of weeks. While in the markets most sellers complain that the fake banknotes detected in their daily have suddenly increase, and most of the people coming to buy are not aware that what they have is fake.

Eileen Eolodie, a mobile money operator in Akwa Douala, said she started witnessing the unusual activity about a month ago when a man came to send CFA 300.000 and while checking the money she detected four fake CFA 5.000 bank notes. She said when she told the client, he quietly replaced the fake bank notes. Eileen Elodie also recounted how a client came to transfer CFA 50.000 and a CFA10.000 note was fake within. She said since then she has become more vigilant. "I had to buy a second money counterfeit detector machine to add to what I already have", she said.

For Marceline Anoufack, a mobile money agent in Ndokoti, she was about to transfer CFA 200.000 when she discovered that two CFA 10.000 and four CFA 5.000 fake bank notes were amongst. "When I discovered that the money was fake I showed them to my neighbours and we took it to the nearby petrol station where they have a counterfeit detector machine. And then we discovered that the bank notes were faulty. And we gave the money to the man who brought it", she narrated. She disclosed that there has been a sudden increase in fake bank notes in the past two week.