Though counterfeit currency is not often encountered in Latvia, development of new technologies requires paying more attention to protection of banknotes and coins. Many experts consider the lats among those world currencies that are best protected against counterfeiting. Due to numerous security features, the yearly number of counterfeits is very small. Counterfeiting of the lats does not pose any threat for the Latvian national economy.

Only a few dozen counterfeit banknotes and a few thousand counterfeit coins appear in Latvia during the year. Most of these forgeries are produced with the help of the latest technology, such as colour copiers, scanners etc. while some are manufactured by quite primitive methods.

Article 192 of the Republic of Latvia Criminal Law, under the title "Production or Dissemination of Counterfeit Currency and Government Securities", is included in the Chapter "Crimes against the National Economy", thus emphasizing the serious nature of this crime.

Production of counterfeit banknotes and coins of Latvijas Banka, government securities or foreign currency for the purposes of dissemination, as well as the dissemination itself carry a 3-10 year prison term with or without confiscation of property. If said activities are committed repeatedly or on a large scale or are committed by an organised group, they are punishable with imprisonment of 5-15 years and confiscation of property.

Counterfeiting is defined as production, by any means, of new banknotes and coins similar to those in circulation. Dissemination of counterfeits is defined as "putting counterfeit currency into circulation" by using it as payment for goods or services or repayment of debt, presenting it, or by any other method.

Number of Discovered Counterfeit Banknotes and Coins

  2013 Total (1994-2013)
Ls 500 1 34
Ls 100 1 505
Ls 50 2 81
Ls 20 87 1 423
Ls 10 52 610
Ls 5 7 1 510
Ls 2 2 146 59 158
Ls 1 37 241 108 333
Ls 0,5 1 617 15 445
Ls 0,2 1 867
Ls 0,05 0 27
Total 41 155
187 993

Number of Discovered Counterfeit Banknotes and Coins (1994-2013)

Amount of Discovered Counterfeit Banknotes and Coins (in lats)

  2013 Total (1994-2013)
Ls 500 500 17 000
Ls 100 100 50 500
Ls 50 100 4 050
Ls 20 1 740 28 460
Ls 10 520 6 100
Ls 5 35 7 550
Ls 2 4 292 118 316
Ls 1 37 241 108 333
Ls 0,5 809 7 723
Ls 0,2 0.2 173.4
Ls 0,05 0 1.35
Total 45 337
348 206.8

Amount of Discovered Counterfeit Banknotes and Coins (1994-2013)