BERLIN – German police said Thursday that a 12-year-old girl had found a fake 50 euro note, the first forgery of the new currency to come to light.
Police said the girl spotted the note on a train on Wednesday. ``She noticed it was a forgery because it did not have any of the security features,'' said a spokesman for the police in Siegburg, western Germany.
``Apparently it was not very good, but it was printed on both sides which is better than some forgeries you get.''
He said the girl had sat down on the local train traveling from Cologne to the town of Troisdorf when she spotted the note on the opposite bench. She took it to her mother who handed it to the police 25 minutes later.
``She was pleased at first but realized it was counterfeit,'' the spokesman said. The regional central bank for North Rhine-Westphalia, a division of the German central bank, had been notified.
The European Central Bank, which manages the new currency, said it had no knowledge of the incident.
The ECB has conducted a publicity campaign about the security features of euro notes and coins launched on January 1, boasting the currency was among the most forgery-proof in the world.
But European officials have urged people in the 12 euro zone countries to watch out for forgeries nevertheless.
The new euro notes have security features such as a hologram foil strip, a printed image which changes when viewed from different angles, a watermark and a security thread.
The police spokesman said the girl would not be getting a reward.