KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara has urged those with RM1 coins to exchange them for RM1 notes before Dec 7 this year.
In a Press statement yesterday, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said RM1 coins will cease to be legal tender on Dec 7 and will be withdrawn from circulation.
"The public will be given three months from Sept 7 to Dec 6, 2005 to exchange the RM1 coins at face value at all branches of commercial banks, the main branches of Bank Simpanan Nasional and Bank Negara’s branches in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Baru, Kuala Terengganu, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu."
The statement said the RM1 notes will continue to be legal tender and will remain in circulation.
The public can log on to BNM’s website, www.bnm.gov.my or call its Currency Management and Operations Department for details.
The website stated that the RM1 coin is still legal tender from Sept 7 to Dec 6 and the public can lodge a complaint with BNM through www.bankinfo.com.my if retailers and financial institutions refuse to accept it.
There is no limit on the quantity of the RM1 coins that can be exchanged.
The website also provides the full list of banks where the public can exchange their RM1 coins.
It was reported by an English daily (not The Malay Mail) on Sept 2, that Bank Negara had decided to withdraw the RM1 coins because of rampant counterfeiting despite efforts by police to curb it (see accompanying story).
The news report, which was taken from Oriental Daily News, also said that Bank Negara’s effort to recall the coins ran into difficulties. It said traders were afraid that if the coins were fakes they would suffer losses.
There have been many cases over the years of syndicates minting RM1 coins.
The syndicates would boil the freshly-minted fakes in oil and later bleach them for a ‘used’ look.
Under Section 235 of the Penal Code, those in possession of materials for the purpose of making counterfeit coins could face up to 10 year’s jail and a fine, while under Section 232 counterfeiting coins carries a maximum of 20 years’ jail and a fine if convicted.
Here are some of the reported cases this year:
- Jan 22, 2005: Klang police arrested three suspected members of a syndicate producing counterfeit RM1 coins which were sold for between RM60 and RM70 for 100 pieces.
Police also found 4,500 fake RM1 coins in a basin in the toilet of a house rented by the suspects and another 5,000 coins in their car. A weighing machine and RM5,250 were also seized.
- March 24, 2005: Police crippled a syndicate minting RM1 coins and selling them for 70 sen each.
During the 2am raid at Taman Permai Puchong, police arrested a 20-year-old Sarawakian and seized 1,000 freshly minted RM1 coins which the suspect was ‘cooking’ in hot oil.
Police also seized 10,000 coin templates which had been cut to resemble RM1 coins.
A hydraulic-assisted stamping machine, a welding machine and several moulds were also seized.
- July 23, 2005: A 40-year-old gambler from Rawang was detained at Genting Highlands for possession of 204 counterfeit RM1 coins when he was about to enter the casino.
State Commercial Crime Department chief Deputy Superintendent Yahya Othman said the gambler had aroused the suspicion of casino guards by carrying a large number of coins.
Initial investigations revealed the man had bought the counterfeit coins from a syndicate at RM70 for 100 coins.