Turkish citizen Vahap Özdemir was surprised when he realized he had been given a number of fake 100 peso bills while exchanging currency in Buenos Aires, a trap tourists and even locals occasionally fall into in Argentina.
But there was an extraordinary detail in this latest incident: The 100 peso banknote Özdemir received featured the portrait of the founder of the modern Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, on one side.
The circulation of counterfeit notes is a common problem in Argentina, but this may be the first-ever instance of counterfeit banknotes being printed this way, Özdemir told the Cihan news agency. The 100 peso note is currently the top currency in circulation in Argentina. The growing demand from tourists, whose local currencies recently gained against the peso, to exchange their foreign currency has enticed counterfeiters to print more pesos.
Özdemir said he was in a hurry and initially failed to notice the picture of Atatürk. “I only realized the oddity when I returned home and checked the notes,” he said.
One Turkish lira currently buys 3.15 pesos. Experts warn people unfamiliar with fake bills in Argentina to check a few things, including the serial numbers, the quality of the paper and holding the bill up in front of a light to examine the watermark.
Courtesy Today's Zaman