The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), said banknotes (Rands) that were stolen from ATMs during the recent civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng are useless.
In a statement, SABRIC said hundreds of ATMs were vandalised during the violence and looting and a lot of cash was stolen in the mayhem. It said:
ATMs hold cash in special containers that protect cash with dye-stain technology that is activated when someone tries to break open the container.
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Once activated, the cash is stained with a green dye, thus defacing the notes, rendering them unusable as currency.
The stained notes are recognised as having no monetary value once they are stained.
People who are in possession of these notes make themselves suspects of a criminal investigation that will seek to determine if they were involved in the stealing and unauthorised access of these ATM containers.
SABRIC has noticed an increase in the attempted circulation of dye-stained notes in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, following the destruction of multiple ATMs.
SABRIC warned businesses and members of the public not to accept these dye-stained notes as legal tender as the onward use and value of these notes will not be honoured. SABRIC CEO Nischal Mewalall wieghed in:
You may also find yourself out of pocket after releasing goods or performing services because you will not be able to utilise the currency you were paid with.
In addition, you also run the risk of being investigated, arrested, and prosecuted for the destruction of these ATMs.