Namibia’s Central Bank issues new notes

Magreth Nunuhe

Windhoek – The Bank of Namibia (BoN) is modifying its N$10 and N$20 banknotes from 20 October 2015 with the removal of the diamond shape security feature which is on the 2012/2013 series, mainly due to cost effectiveness..

The rest of the security features on the banknotes are to remain the same.

Ndangi Katoma, BoN’s Director of Strategic Communications and Financial Sector made this announcement on 6 October 2015 and urged the public to take note of the key visible security features on all banknotes, which are the three security features, namely the watermark, raised ink and the security thread.

However, Katoma added that all existing banknotes like the Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi series, the 2012 new series and the 2013 improved N$10 and N$20 banknotes would continue to be accepted for payment of goods and services.

“The new banknotes will co-circulate with those already on the market,” he said, adding that it was normal in currency production to do reviews and on a regular basis.

He said that the change was only applicable to the N$10 and N$20 due to their low volumes, but did not rule out the possibility that the higher volume notes, such as the N$50, N$100 and N$200 notes could also be changed in the future, as long as that is done in the most cost-effective way.

The modification was effected following an observation that the diamond shape feature of some new banknotes had been cracking after continuous folding and handling.

Now the diamond shape feature has been shifted outside the folding area to the right side. This also involved the shifting of the glossy print mark to the left side next to the portrait of founding father, Sam Nujoma, the bank official explained.

The unchanged security features are the bank’s initials ‘BoN’; watermark of the portrait of former president  Nujoma; BoN Governor Ipumbu Shiimi’s signature; relief mark for the visually impaired; and the thread which changes colour from green to a split of magenta and blue.

The Namibian dollar replaced the South African Rand, which had been the country’s currency while it was under South African rule.

In the meantime, the Namibian Police has issued a warning against counterfeit money circulating in the country, especially N$200 banknotes.

The counterfeit banknotes with serial numbers N98337131, N64855266 and N53746402 have been circulating in Omusati and Otjozondjupa Regions where seven suspects were arrested between 15 September 2015 and 4 October 2015.

The fake money that was found in possession of the seven suspects amounted to N$84 000, but more notes are expected to be in circulation countrywide.

The Namibian Police are asking the public and business community to diligently examine the money they receive, especially larger denominations.

 Additional reporting by Nampa

October 2015
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