The Counterfeit Currency Central Office

The Counterfeit Currency Central Office is a section of the Federal Criminal Police, a main division of fedpol.

The Central Office examines and registers counterfeit and falsified legal tender. Currency offences as defined under Article 240 et seq. of the Swiss Criminal Code and Article 11 of the Federal Act on Currency and Payment Instruments are subject to federal jurisdiction (Art. 23 Criminal Procedure Code CrimPC). This means that proceedings are conducted under the guidance of the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, and the Central Office co-ordinates international cases handled by the cantons and foreign INTERPOL bureaus.

To combat counterfeit currency the Central Office adopts a range of preventive and advisory measures, and issues warnings to the public via the media. Other measures include close collaboration with banks and private companies. The Central Office also gives talks and runs training courses at police academies, banks and conferences.

Alerts on counterfeit currency are sent by the police and large financial institutions such as banks, post offices and railways, together with a sample of the forgery, directly to the Central Office. The advantage of this procedure is that the Central Office can examine new forgeries immediately and react quickly if necessary. On request by the Central Office, the Swiss National Bank instructs the banknote press to undertake a formal assessment of forged Swiss banknotes (see Article 14 of the 1929 International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeit Currency). The Swiss National Bank does not have its own collection of national or international forgeries.

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