Counterfeit currency

A child examines a 50-franc banknote
A child examines a 50-franc banknote. (Photo: Keystone/Gaetan Bally)

Compared to in other countries, counterfeit money is a very seldom occurrence in Switzerland because Swiss banknotes are forgery-proof. Banknote production is state-of-the-art and of a very high international standard. Forged banknotes can often be identified with the naked eye on the basis of various security features.

If obvious or suspected forgeries do appear, however, the police, banks, postal services or other institutions forward them to fedpol, who examines them and if necessary registers the material that has been used to manufacture them. Under the lead of the Office of the Attorney General criminal proceedings are opened, occasionally in consultation with the cantons and INTERPOL offices abroad. Counterfeiters in Switzerland are nearly always caught. In the last ten years, between 150 and 400 cases were reported to the Attorney General’s Office each year.

Money forgers can be of any age or from any social background. Their motives are accordingly very diverse and can range from experimental zest to a lack of money. 

Last modification 16.01.2024

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