Riga, 13 January 2009 

According to the data released by the State Police, 7 239 counterfeit banknotes and coins appeared in Latvia in 2008, of which 299 were banknotes. Annually, only a few dozen counterfeit banknotes and a few thousand forged coins are discovered in Latvia. This trend has remained unchanged. It is attributable to the numerous security features, and the number of counterfeits discovered during a year is small. Counterfeiting of the lats poses no threat to the Latvian national economy. The total value of counterfeits detected in 2008 was LVL 15 671, accounting for thousandths of a percent of lats in circulation. 

Though forged currency is not often encountered in Latvia, the application of new technologies requires everyone to pay more attention to protection of banknotes and coins. Hence, when new issues of banknotes and coins are released, the Bank of Latvia has always strived to improve security against counterfeiting. After 1992, all recurrently issued banknotes have been complemented by new security features. Improved security features will also be incorporated in the new issue of 500-lats banknotes expected in the near future. Information on the lats banknotes is available on the Bank of Latvia's website under the Section "Latvian Money"

Most of the forgeries are produced with the help of the latest technology, such as colour copiers, scanners etc., while some counterfeiters still use quite primitive methods. Taking into account the fact that these forgeries also appear in circulation, it should be borne in mind that the presence of the technically sophisticated and practically inimitable features can easily be tested by looking at them - simply tilting the banknote against the light on a dark or white background etc. 

Number of Discovered Counterfeit Banknotes and Coins

2008 Total (1994-2008)
Ls 500 0 30
Ls 100 34 487
Ls 50 10 38
Ls 20 143 615
Ls 10 28 377
Ls 5 84 1 195
Ls 2 1 294 42 470
Ls 1 5 607 21 327
Ls 0.5 27 5 421
Ls 0.2 12 836
Ls 0.05 0 27
Total 7 239 72 823

To minimise the possibility that reproductions of currency created for advertising, marketing or publicity may become substitutes for genuine banknotes and coins, the above product authors shall comply with the "Regulation for Reproducing the Bank of Latvia Banknotes", stipulating the differences that can easily be distinguished in order not to mistake a reproduction, such as a share coupon, for a genuine note.