Government Begins Issuing New Fiji Banknotes

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Old coins, cash will remain in circulation till end of 2013

By Lavenia Vuadreu

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 2, 2013) – Fiji’s new notes, except the new green FJ$5 [US$2.79] polymer banknotes, are today available to the public from all commercial banks, Deputy Governor Inia Naiyaga confirms.

No detail was given for the delay with the Naiyaga only saying the new green FJ$5 banknotes will be issued in April. The old notes and coins will still be in circulation. The Reserve Bank expects this cross-circulation to end by December 2013 via the commercial banks.

The new-look currency was unveiled on 12 December 2012 and was not due for circulation till today. However, on Christmas Eve 500 of the new-look bills were reported missing to Police.

Six people, three of them security officers and a woman, have been charged over the missing bills and are remanded in court. Charged are Michael Christopher, Sunia Qerua, Vikash Prasad, Vasemaca Senilagakali and Eferoma Caketi. They were denied bail when they appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court on 31 December. They are due to reappear this Friday.

The prime suspect, Viliame Cakacaka believed to be the mastermind having stolen the money from ANZ Bank is due in court tomorrow. Fiji Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said Cakacaka has been formally charged with theft. So far close to 450 of the new-look bills have been recovered.

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