Beware of 'frozen dollar' notes in Egyptian parallel market

Muhammad Khalid, Wednesday 27 Dec 2023

If you deal in the parallel market of the currency, you should beware of “frozen dollar” notes, which are invalid currency with deactivated serial numbers.

Illustrative image of frozen USD bills.
Illustrative image of frozen USD bills. dreamstime.

 

“The Federal Reserves can deactivate banknotes with certain serial numbers if counterfeit money with similar numbers is detected,” banking expert Mohamed El-Beih told Ahram Online. 

“In other cases, the Fed can deactivate banknotes used in money laundering or criminal activities,” El-Beih added.

Deactivated banknotes have no value whatsoever and can be identified anywhere in the world by banks, which receive information on the serial numbers of these notes from the Fed, the expert warned.

The Egyptian economy has suffered a severe shortage of foreign currency that created an official and parallel exchange rate since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022.

On Wednesday, the USD/EGP exchange rate stood at around EGP 31 in the official market and more than EGP 53 in the parallel market. 

British bank HSBC projected a further devaluation of the Egyptian pound to EGP 40-45 against the US dollar during the first quarter of 2024.

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