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Police Want to Make Authentic-Looking Souvenir Money Illegal

The appearance of souvenir money is becoming increasingly sophisticated, police say. Sergei Porter

Police are concerned about the production of increasingly genuine-looking souvenir money, some of which contains features of real banknotes such as water marks and ultraviolet protection.

Some counterfeit bills are the exact same size as real notes as well, police officials said Friday.

The police want to make it an administrative offense to create play money that uses some of the same inks and images as authentic cash, said the head of the police's economics crime unit, Dmitry Khrulkov, at a conference Friday, Interfax reported.

The police's top forensics expert Igor Miloradov said criminals have been known to subject genuine-looking banknotes made by advertising agencies to additional processing, then pass them off as real bills.

Stacks of fake 1,000-ruble and 5,000-ruble notes can be purchased for a tiny fraction of their printed value at kiosks all over Moscow.

Khrulkov said police also want to make it a criminal offense simply to produce counterfeit cash. Current legislation stipulates criminal liability only for the production of fake money with the intent to sell it.

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