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8 October, 2020

Warning to businesses about counterfeit notes

Police are investigating the twelfth counterfeit note passed to businesses in Cairns, Cassowary Coast and Tablelands this year.

In each instance, either a $100 or $50 note has been handed over to purchase goods of low value and legal tender is handed over in change.

Earlier this year, police charged two men in separate incidents where counterfeit notes were allegedly presented to businesses in Cairns and Innisfail.

A 41-year-old Cardwell man was charged with three counts of uttering counterfeit money and two counts of unlicenced driving. It’s alleged he passed counterfeit notes at a business in Redlynch on March 23, and at other businesses in Gordonvale and Edmonton on March 26.

Police also charged a 28-year-old Innisfail man with one count each of uttering counterfeit money possess tainted property and possess relevant substances of things after it’s alleged he presented a $100 counterfeit note at a business in Edith Street Innisfail on September 17.

Both men are scheduled to appear in the Innisfail Magistrates Court on October 12.

The below details are of investigations that are ongoing.

  • 2 x counterfeit $50 notes presented to purchase items under $10 at a business in Pease Street Manoora yesterday.
  • 1 x counterfeit $50 note presented at a business in Silo Road, Atherton on September 28.
  • 1 x counterfeit $50 note presented at a business in Barnard Drive, Mount Sheridan on September 27.
  • 1 x counterfeit $50 note attempted to be presented at a business in Sheridan Street, Cairns North on September 27.
  • 1 x counterfeit $50 note presented at a business on the Kennedy Highway, Smithfield on September 3.
  • 2 x counterfeit $50 notes presented at two separate businesses in Grigg Street Ravenshoe on April 6.
  • 1 x counterfeit $50 note was presented at a business on Mulgrave Road, Earlville on March 23.

Local businesses are urged to alert all employees to this recent incident and provide advice to them about how to identify counterfeit currency.

Australian banknotes are printed on polymer, a type of plastic that has a distinct feel.

Polymer notes should return back to shape after it’s scrunched up.

The current counterfeit notes are printed on plastic and do feel similar to correct tender however all employees handling cash should make themselves familiar with correct Australian tender.

If you suspect you’ve received counterfeit currency:

  1. Handle the suspect bank note as little as possible and store it in an envelope.
  2. Note any relevant information, such as how it came into your possession.
  3. Report the matter immediately to state or federal police.

For more information:

Information sourced from the Reserve Bank of Australia. Visit

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, via 24hrs per day.

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