Norway finds counterfeits of new banknotes

Norwegian police have confirmed that counterfeit versions of the country’s new bank notes have entered circulation.

Norway finds counterfeits of new banknotes
Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Police in Vestfold have confiscated over 20 false 50 krone notes and five or six false 200 krone notes, reports broadcaster NRK.

The fake 50 krone notes were counterfeits of the old design, while the 200 krone notes were copies of a new banknote recently released amid much publicity.

The new 200 krone notes, which feature an image of a cod on the reverse, were the subject of a quirky promotional video released by the Norwegian national bank that went viral last month.

The video highlighted the many security features on the notes aimed at preventing counterfeiting.

READ ALSO: Norway's new maritime banknotes are here

Three people have been arrested in connection with the counterfeit notes.

Police have received reports of attempted payments with false notes in Tønsberg and and on the islands of Natterøy and Tjøme, according to the report.

“In the Tønsberg district there are now false 50 krone notes and false versions of the new 200 krone notes in circulation,” Knut Erik Ågrav, head of the investigation section at Tønsberg’s police station, told NRK.

A food store on Tjøme was first to report a false note at 11:40 am Tuesday, according to the report.

Police were dispatched and arrested the person who attempted to use the note.

“He had both false 50 krone and 200 krone notes on him. He probably tried [to use the notes] at other locations on Tjøme, a food store and a wine outlet, but was turned away,” Ågrav said.

Additional counterfeit notes were later found after police were called to a theft at a hotel room in Tønsberg, reports NRK.

The notes were found in a nearby room at the hotel after one of the false 50 krone bills was found in the room that had been broken into, according to the report.

Police are now looking into the possibility of a connection between the two separate finds of counterfeits.

Ågrav told NRK that it was “very clear” that further fake notes were still in circulation in Vestfold County, having received several reports from businesses of bills being rejected after cash registers showed them to be false.

Police are so far unable make any comment on the possible origin of the counterfeits.

READ ALSO: Norway's largest bank calls for total end to cash


Two more arrested for suspected involvement in Oslo Pride shooting

Norwegian police said Monday they had arrested two alleged accomplices of the suspect in a June shooting that killed two people in Oslo on the sidelines of Pride celebrations.

Two more arrested for suspected involvement in Oslo Pride shooting

The two suspects were arrested on Sunday in Oslo suspected of “complicity in a terrorist act”, the Oslo police said in a statement.

One is a Somali man in his forties, the other a Norwegian in his thirties — both of them known to police. Their identities were not disclosed.

In the early hours of June 25, a man opened fire near a gay bar in central Oslo during celebrations linked to the city’s Pride festival.

The shooting killed two men, aged 54 and 60, and wounded 21 others. Immediately after the shooting, police arrested Zaniar Matapour, a
43-year-old Norwegian of Iranian origin, on suspicion of carrying out the attack.

The new arrests bring the number of people implicated in the attack to four, as Norwegian police announced last week they were seeking another suspect linked to the shooting.

On Friday, Oslo police announced that they had issued an international arrest warrant for Arfan Qadeer Bhatti, a 45-year-old Islamist with a prior conviction, who is also suspected of “complicity in a terrorist act”.

“The police still believes Bhatti is in Pakistan,” a country with which Norway has no extradition agreement, police said Monday.

“To ensure the best possible cooperation with the Pakistani authorities, we had Oslo police officers in Pakistan a short time ago,” it added.

According to police, they have not yet had direct contact with Arfan Bhatti but have spoken to his Norwegian lawyer, Svein Holden, and say they expect the legal proceedings in Pakistan to take time.