A taxi driver was almost arrested in Moyale on Tuesday after he was found in possession of fake banknote of the new Kenyan banknotes.
Boniface Kamau had gone to deposit the money in an M-Pesa shop when he was told the banknotes were fake.
According to Kamau, he received Sh 3,000 from clients he had taken to Ethiopia. Unknown to him, part of the money was counterfeit.
“They (passengers) alighted from a Nairobi bus and said they wanted to cross over to Ethiopia. I took them, waited for them as they shopped and dropped them back at a Mandera-bound bus after which they handed me Sh3,000 as we had agreed,” Kamau narrated.
The taxi driver, who said it was the first time he was coming in contact with the new banknotes, only discovered that he had been duped after he went to deposit the cash at an M-Pesa agent.
“When the M-Pesa agent told me the notes are fake, I went to a bank and it’s then that I was told only Sh1,000 was genuine. They wanted to arrest me but I was lucky because I knew the police officers at the bank. I just explained to them and they understood me,” he said.
Most businesses in the town at the border of Kenya and Ethiopia have refused to accept the new banknotes.
“People here are not aware of the new banknotes. They don’t even know how it looks like. It’s becoming hard to buy anything here. Awareness campaign is needed, otherwise these people will be conned,” said Fatum Issa a resident of Moyale.
“Today’s incident with the taxi driver and the fake money will make people here avoid the new money,” she added.
How you can tell a genuine Notes
The awareness campaign launched on social media by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) appears not to be sufficient with some traders saying they have little time for the internet.
Images of the newly unveiled Kenyan bank notes. PHOTO | CENTRAL BANK of KENYA
The new banknotes, which were unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Madaraka Day, have a combination of a new look, feel and tilt display for seven distinct features.
Here are the features to look out for in the new banknotes:
If you run your fingers over the new banknotes, you should feel the part that is written Kenya and the Value of the note i.e.1000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Also if you run your fingers on the notes edge yo will feel slanting bars which distinguish the value of the note i.e. 1 bar (Sh50), 2 bars (Sh100), 3 bars (Sh200), 4 bars (Sh500) and 5 bars (Sh1000).
If you hold up the notes against the light, you’ll see a watermark of a perfect lion’s head, the text CBK, and the value of the banknote. You will also see a security thread which appears as a continuous line.
If you tilt the banknote at an angle, the security thread changes colour from red to green on all banknotes. The Sh200, Sh500 and Sh1000 banknotes have additional rainbow colours on the thread. The golden band on the back of the note shows its value.