The Americas

Venezuelans prepare for largest currency note to be yanked

  • A customer holds a stack of 100-bolivar notes  at a bakery in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Venezuelans are rushing to spend their 100-bolivar notes after a surprise announcement that they will be taken out of circulation this week. President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that his government would be pulling the bills to stop the "mafias" who smuggle contraband on the Colombian border. (AP/Photo/Fernando Llano)

    A customer holds a stack of 100-bolivar notes at a bakery in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Venezuelans are rushing to spend their 100-bolivar notes after a surprise announcement that they will be taken out of circulation this week. President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that his government would be pulling the bills to stop the "mafias" who smuggle contraband on the Colombian border. (AP/Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man counts his 100-bolivar notes next to a sign alerting customers with a message in Spanish that reads: ”100-bolivar notes will only be received until Tuesday, 12-13-16,” inside a bakery in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Venezuelans are rushing to spend their 100-bolivar notes after a surprise announcement that they will be taken out of circulation this week. President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that his government would be pulling the bills to stop the "mafias" who smuggle contraband on the Colombian border. (AP/Photo/Fernando Llano)

    A man counts his 100-bolivar notes next to a sign alerting customers with a message in Spanish that reads: ”100-bolivar notes will only be received until Tuesday, 12-13-16,” inside a bakery in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Venezuelans are rushing to spend their 100-bolivar notes after a surprise announcement that they will be taken out of circulation this week. President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that his government would be pulling the bills to stop the "mafias" who smuggle contraband on the Colombian border. (AP/Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

  • A sign alerting customers with a message in Spanish reads: ”100-bolivar notes will only be received until Tuesday, 12-13-16,” inside a bakery in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Venezuelans are rushing to spend their 100-bolivar notes after a surprise announcement that they will be taken out of circulation this week. President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that his government would be pulling the bills to stop the "mafias" who smuggle contraband on the Colombian border. (AP/Photo/Fernando Llano)

    A sign alerting customers with a message in Spanish reads: ”100-bolivar notes will only be received until Tuesday, 12-13-16,” inside a bakery in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Venezuelans are rushing to spend their 100-bolivar notes after a surprise announcement that they will be taken out of circulation this week. President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that his government would be pulling the bills to stop the "mafias" who smuggle contraband on the Colombian border. (AP/Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

Venezuelans are rushing to spend their 100-bolivar notes after President Nicolas Maduro's announcement they will be taken out of circulation to stop the "mafias" who smuggle contraband on the Colombian border.

The government has promised to issue new, higher-denomination bills this week amid the world's highest inflation.

Maduro warned Sunday that people will not be allowed to bring back 100-bolivar bills from outside the country to trade them in for new currency. People loyal to Maduro's socialist party on Monday circulated drawings on social media of hapless criminals trying to smuggle 100-bolivar bills into Venezuela like drugs.

An estimated third of Venezuelans have no bank account and keep their savings in the soon-to-be-worthless bills.