Given a note stained with dye, would you know what to do? With the rising occurrence of Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) bombings and robberies, would you understand that a stained note is an indicator that the note was probably stolen in a robbery or ATM theft and that lives may have been lost during that robbery?
As communities around the country concern themselves about the rising incidents of ATM bombings, warnings on the use of dye stained notes have become the common conversation. Common as it may be, some people ignore the consequences of accepting dye stained notes.
In the Central Bank’s recent Annual Monetary Policy Statement address, Governor Majozi Sithole explained that the country has experienced an upward trend in the prevalence of shameless and repeated bombings of ATMs by use of explosives and other forms of less sophisticated criminal attacks. This is by far not unique to the country and has been reported to have happened in other parts of the world, and common especially in South Africa.
Dye stained notes – by definition
A dye stained note refers to a note that is coloured with ink used in cash protection devices or cash boxes normally used by Cash in Transit (CIT) companies or other technologies and used as anti-theft devices in Automatic Teller Machines for commercial banks (Central Bank Policy, 2017). These cash protection devices spray notes with a permanent dye if an ATM or CIT van is attacked, marking them as stolen — and thereby making them useless to the robbers.
Dye stained banknotes can be stained by green or blue ink. The dye could cover the entire note, be around the edges or on any part of the note. The amount of stain is not a determinant factor because even slightly stained notes are illegal.
As part of the Central Bank’s mandate (CBS Order 1974), to protect the value of currency, the Bank is responsible for ensuring that banknotes and coins in circulation are of good quality. The Bank also guarantees that confidence in the currency of the country is assured through defining the broad policy of the handling of notes and coins. This further assists the country reduce the incidents of CIT heists and in the process, protects the lives of those tasked with transporting and securing banknotes and coins.
What to do
The involvement of the public, financial institutions and the retail industry is crucial in the removal of dye-stained notes from circulation. If you accept a dye-stained note from cashiers or anyone else, you may be accepting money that is probably stolen.
Similarly, dye-stained notes discovered in tills or received from the public during the course of normal business in the retail industry must not be accepted. In both instances, individuals and cashiers must refuse it or submit it (if found in tills) to a financial institution or the Central Bank for assessment and possible refund.
Financial institutions (tellers) have the responsibility to remove and retain dye stained notes to prevent such notes from going into circulation. Under no circumstances should dye-stained notes be exchanged or returned to customers. Instead, a receipt must be issued to the customer for the retained stained note and the note must be punched in as an indication of it being dye stained.
In all instances full personal details of the customer must be obtained including a copy of identification and a brief explanation and or statement must be recorded.
Dye Stained Notes Identification – What to look for:
By refusing to accept dye-stained notes or handing them in, you will play your part in fighting crime. Accordingly any information you have regarding stolen notes must be immediately reported to the local police station.
Dye-stained notes must not in any way be paid out or circulated!