Defacing bank notes illegal, warns Oman Central Bank

Bank issues circular urging the public to protect currency as “national symbol”

Oman’s central bank has issued a circular warning against the illegal practice of writing on bank notes, making “garlands” out of them or otherwise defacing their appearance, local media have reported.

Some retail outlets have been manufacturing and selling garlands, wreaths and arches made of national currency bank notes, Central Bank of Oman said in a statement on Sunday, while some members of the public have defiled notes by writing on them.

Both practices are against the law and represent a defacement of national symbols.

Muscat Daily carried a statement from Central Bank of Oman that read: “The Central Bank of Oman would like to draw the attention of the public that it has noticed cases of mutilation of our national banknotes and misuse of currency coins.

“This mutilation takes place by affixing seals on the banknotes or writing on them or otherwise misusing them one way or another, resulting in changing their look, features or damaging them.

“The bank also noticed that some outlets and shops manufacture, sell garlands, wreaths and arches made of national currencies. This practice mutilates and damages the national currency and contravenes the provisions of Oman Banking Law No 114/2000.

“Evidently, any use of national banknotes and currency coins for other than circulation as public tender falls under penalty of law.

“It violates Article 43 (b) of the Oman Banking Law, which stipulates that ‘Any violation of this Article shall be an offence against public confidence as provided in Chapter One, Title Three, Book Two of Oman Penal Code or any other law replacing it’.”

In the statement, the bank also urged the public to respect and protect the national currency from “as it represents and contains national symbols”, the newspaper added.

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