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Number of fake banknotes hits record low in 2021 amid pandemic

In the photo, provided by KEB Hana Bank, bank officials closely examine a magnified image of what appears to be a fake banknote at a Seoul branch office on Sept. 23, 2019. (KEB Hana Bank)
In the photo, provided by KEB Hana Bank, bank officials closely examine a magnified image of what appears to be a fake banknote at a Seoul branch office on Sept. 23, 2019. (KEB Hana Bank)
The number of fake South Korean banknotes touched a record low in 2021 due largely to the coronavirus pandemic, the central bank said Wednesday.

The number of counterfeit banknotes found in Asia's fourth-largest economy stood at 176 last year, down 96 from a year earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It marked the lowest tally since the BOK began releasing such data in 1998. The number of fake bills has renewed record lows for four years running.

The drop was mainly due to a decline in face-to-face transactions amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, the BOK said.

By denomination, 5,000 won counterfeit bills accounted for 55.1 percent of the total with 97 bills, while 10,000 won counterfeit bills came to 39, or 22.2 percent.

The highest-denomination bill (50,000 won) had only 22 counterfeit cases, accounting for 12.5 percent of the total, according to the central bank. (Yonhap)
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