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The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 2, January 9, 2005, Article 4

NOTE REPLACEMENT MAKES HEIST A "WASTE PAPER THEFT"

We recently reported that Irish bank officials were considering
withdrawing and replacing an entire issue of banknotes in the wake
of a bold robbery. The decision has apparently been finalized.
A Friday Reuters article reports that "Northern Bank announced
on Friday that it would withdraw all its paper banknotes in
circulation and replace them with new ones in different colors at a
cost of up to 5 million pounds.

"So in essence this large robbery has become the largest theft of
waste paper in the living history of Northern Ireland," said Orde.
Police said the final tally of the haul stolen was 26.5 million pounds,
up from their original estimate of 22 million. Around 22 million
was in notes issued by the Northern Bank."

To read the full story, see: Full Story

From the BBC news:
"Mr Price said it would cost the bank about 5m to recall and
replace all its 10, 20, 50 and 100 notes. It currently has
more than 300m of its notes in circulation and only its existing
plastic 5 notes will remain in circulation. The withdrawn notes
are to be replaced by new notes of the same design - but they
will be a different colour, have a new logo, and new prefixes to
their serial numbers.

"It will take up to eight weeks to print the new notes, and they
will be in circulation as soon as possible after that. The move
makes it difficult to recirculate the old notes into the economy
in the timescale. Mr Price said: "To my knowledge this is the
first time this has been done.

To read the article, see: Full Story

A letter to the editor of the News Letter of Northern Ireland
notes: "The whole exercise would be a reversal of the 16th
century (Gresham's) Law in that it would be a case of "good
money driving out bad".

To read the full letter, see: Full Story

[In the U.S., I believe there has only been one instance of a
note issue being recalled by the government as a result of a
crime - the ransom notes paid in the Lindbergh kidnapping
case. I asked if there have been other such recalls in the U.S.
or elsewhere; the following item describes a currency exchange
completed just last month which was motivated (at least in
part) by thefts. -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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