Bank of Namibia deputy governor, Ebson Uanguta said the bank has observed cracks in the diamond image on the N$10 and N$20 notes. He said that upon close scrutiny by the bank of the N$10 and N$20, it appears that after folding and handling, cracks appear in the diamond shape security feature.
Addressing the media last week, Uanguta said "from a technical banknote printing perspective, the cracking is not supposed to be the case." He said that the Bank is in the process of investigating the matter in conjunction with international currency experts to discover the nature of the problem, as well as finding a lasting technical solution.
Uanguta said that the current bank notes in circulation amount to N$2.3 billion and 242 counterfeit pieces have been discovered. He urged members of the public to continue paying close attention to the basic security features to detect any possible counterfeit notes. "I would like to encourage the public to be cautious and continue to help the bank in fighting counterfeit notes." Uanguta said every note is of the highest quality.
Meanwhile he said that although the bank cannot determine the exact date when the investigation will come to an end, they are working hard on the investigation and hope to get to the bottom of the problem as soon as possible. This is expected within two weeks.
Responding to media probes on whether the notes were subject to thorough testing, he confirmed that this was done before the notes were put into circulation. "We must bear in mind that this problem with the new N$10 and N$20 notes is not widespread, so we are not encountering quality problems with every new bank note that returns."
He added that although not every note in circulation has been tested as it is expensive and difficult, samples have been thoroughly tested and the notes conform to international currency standards.
Uanguta said they are in constant contact with the company (name withheld) that printed the notes as part of the investigation. "As soon as the Bank observed the cracking on the notes, we notified the company that printed these notes and investigations are still underway therefore I can not give the exact nature of the cause on the cracked notes"