Local authorities are warning all shop assistants and owners to be aware of false 50 and 100 euro notes that are believed to be in circulation in the Algarve. Some shop and bar owners, who are concerned and suspicious, are refusing to accept large euro notes.
The latest incident occurred in Praia da Rocha, when a 20-year-old foreigner was arrested for buying goods with a false 100 euro note. As soon as the shop assistant discovered that the note was not real, she alerted the local authorities and the man was arrested. Silves GNR have also admitted that they have received complaints from three local shop and bar owners, who also claim they have been paid with false notes. A GNR spokesman revealed that the recent counterfeiting cases may be linked to two men, a 33-year-old Portuguese and a 27-year-old foreigner, who were arrested last week in Vila Real de Santo António on suspicion of producing fake 50 euro notes.
The cases are now in the hands of the Polícia Judiciária (PJ), who are investigating if the notes seized in Portimão, Silves and Vila Real de Santo António were made of the same paper and ink. “The cases in Vila Real de Santo António and Portimão are very similar. Both of the arrested individuals were foreign, although one had 50 euro notes and the other 100 euro notes. And in Silves, the people who were swindled say that the individuals who gave them the 100 euros notes also fit the profile – young and foreign,” said the PJ officer.