THE Central Bank of the Solomon Islands (CBSI) has warned public that individuals or groups involved in deliberately damaging the nation’s currency banknotes and coins, can be penalised.
“Destroying or defacing Solomon Islands currency banknotes and coins amount to vandalism of public property and does have legal repercussions.
“Actions such as knowingly tearing, cutting, burning or squeezing banknotes in public or private areas is strictly prohibited by CBSI.
“Common acts from the public such as writing on the front and/or backside of the different banknote denomination is also illegal,” a press statement said.
This call comes after a recent incident in Honiara where a $2 dollar coin reshaped and re-designed into an ornament piece (finger ring) was obtained.
The ring was confiscated by CBSI after an individual handed it over to the Bank recently.
Under the CBSI Act 2012, “any persons who willfully alters the external appearance of notes and coins…shall be guilty of an offence” (Section 21 ). The public therefore must take this reminder seriously and treat all banknotes and coins with respect and care.
CBSI is reiterating its call on the public to view the country’s currency banknotes and coins as a national icon and an important medium of exchange or tool, circulating and exchanging hands in order to facilitate trading within the economy.
Banknotes and coins are also regarded as the ‘Silent Ambassadors’ of any country as they represent the nation through its different designs, artwork and colour themes.
CBSI says rather than fraudulently altering the external appearance of notes and coins, people should ensure their notes and coins are good quality notes and coins.
One way in helping to maintain good quality notes and coins and thereby improving the life span of these banknotes and coins in circulation, is to use wallets, purses or moneybags to store money.