Israeli Police on Wednesday night arrested 11 suspects and detained two others on suspicion of involvement in producing counterfeit shekels. Police suspect the group operated out of a residential apartment in Ashdod, where they ran a money-counterfeiting lab and managed a distribution network of counterfeit bills.
According to Police, the detainees endeavored, each according to his aspect of the enterprise, to produce and transfer counterfeit notes at values of NIS 100 and NIS 200.
Police estimate that the ring has managed to inject millions of counterfeit shekels into the Israeli economy. Police have already searched the suspects’ homes, confiscating banknotes worth tens of thousands of shekels suspected of being forged.
As soon as the new 100 and 200 shekel denominations were out, near the end of 2017, Israeli media began to report the appearance of forged bills in many Israeli cities. At the time Police suspected printing shops in the Southern Mt. Hebron area in Judea.
One immediately noticeable fact about the counterfeit shekel notes is that they are smaller than the legal ones, according to Channel 2 News.
According to Israel Bank, most Israeli notes (except for the 20 shekel), bear several unique components:
The value number of the note is printed with metallic gold; a smaller portrait of the figure on the bill is revealed in front of a light source; two triangles printed on each side of the note are combined in a play for the light to create a Star of David; a security cord implanted in a bill is exposed by a light source; embossed ink-marks for palpitation by blind people; a covert sign in the form of a triangle is revealed when moving the note; The ink changes color when moving the note; transparent ink revealed when moving the note; The serial number is black, and glows when shined on by ultraviolet light; the material from which the note is made creates a characteristic rustle.