Highlands & Islands

'Fake' £20s put down toilet on Western Isles were real

Detail from a £20 note
Image caption Police and trading standards officers were alerted to the notes

Money suspected by bank staff on the Western Isles to be counterfeit has turned out to be the real thing.

One businessman had torn up £20 notes and flushed them down the toilet to stop them getting back into circulation after being told they were fake.

Police asked to investigate the suspect notes three weeks ago said forensics had shown the money was genuine.

The Bank of Scotland said staff had found what they thought were inconsistencies with some notes.

A spokesman added that the notes involved were taken out of circulation.

Northern Constabulary said money handed in to police and found be real would be returned, but added further banknotes still had to be checked.

Insp Robbie Macdonald said: "A relatively small number of notes were handed into us and we liaised with Soca, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, who were able to authenticate the currency.

"To date all the notes we dealt with through Soca have been found to be genuine and they will be returned to the complainers."

The notes were used in Stornoway on Lewis and also Uist in late May.

Trading standards officers with the local authority, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, issued a warning at the time.

They said a number of counterfeit notes were circulating on the islands.

A spokesman had said: "Although some counterfeit notes are easy to spot we would certainly advise businesses and shops to ensure that they check notes.

"This is good practice at any time and is made easier when using an ultra-violet checking device that will detect the ultra-violet security markings built into genuine notes as well as credit and debit cards."

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