The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has warned retailers against accepting dye-stained bank notes as legal tender, as the onward use and value of these notes will not be honoured.
The warning comes after violence and looting engulfed parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, where hundreds of ATMs were destroyed.
The cash dispensers hold notes in special containers with dye-stain technology that is activated when someone tries to break open the container. Once activated, the cash is stained with a green dye, thus defacing the notes, rendering them unusable as currency. The stained notes are recognised as having no monetary value once they are stained.
The information centre says there has been an increase in the attempted circulation of dye-stained notes in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, following the destruction of multiple ATMs. People who are in possession of these notes make themselves suspects of a criminal investigation, which will seek to determine if they were involved in the stealing and unauthorised access of these ATM containers.
“You may also find yourself out of pocket after releasing goods or performing services because you will not be able to utilise the currency you were paid with. In addition, you also run the risk of being investigated, arrested and prosecuted for the destruction of these ATMs,” Sabric CEO, Nischal Mewalall, says.