Cablegate: Counterfeiting of Us Currency in Ecuador

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. On July 29 Guayaquil Consul General and Central Bank
General Supervisor Mauricio Pareja Canelos briefed some
150 bank and media representatives on the features of the
new fifty-dollar bill and its advantages. Counterfeit
money, most of which enters the country from Colombia,
has been a relatively minor problem Pareja told the CG.

2. An analysis, provided to the CG by Pareja, of
counterfeit currency circulating in Ecuador covering the
past three semesters revealed that the production of
false fifty-dollar bills has fluctuated. However, with
the arrival of this new bill, the Ecuadorian government
is anticipating a steady decline. From the second
semester of 2003 to the first semester of 2004 the amount
of false one-dollar bills and twenty-dollar bills showed
a considerable increase: one-dollar bills rose from 3,606
to 6,691 and twenty-dollar bills more than tripled, from
2,628 to 9,809. This dramatic increase suggests that the
release of the new twenty-dollar bill in October 2003 has
not yet contributed to a reduction in counterfeit
production. In contrast, over the same time period
counterfeit bills of all other denominations declined:
five-dollar bills falling from 10,823 to 7,479; ten-
dollar bills from 11,555 to 6,132; fifty-dollar bills
from 59 to 26; and one hundred-dollar bills from 1,208 to
957. According to the Central Bank the total number of
false US bills encountered in Ecuador over the past three
semesters was forty thousand units, which the bank
considers to be relatively minor.


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