Customers received tainted banknotes from ATMs

POSTED: 10/21/15 2:01 PM


ATMRBC ATM at the Le Grand Marché parking lot on Bush Road. Photo Today / Andrew Dick

Police request citizens to bring in red dyed bills

St. Maarten – A number of people have been receiving red dyed money from several WIB and RBC ATMs. One person said that she took out money from a Windward Islands Bank ATM at Divico in Cole Bay and went to the movies and did not notice the red stain on a $20 bill. The movies however did notice this and refused the money. The day after the person went to WIB to complain about this and was given a receipt while the money was confiscated. Another person contacted 721 news today, Monday and said he took out money from the WIB ATM at Le Grand Marché that had some red stains on it. He brought it to the WIB who confiscated the money and did give unstained money in return.

Windward Islands Bank Managing Director Derek Downes confirmed to this newspaper that there are indeed some cases reported to the bank and that it has to confiscate the money and hand it over to the police. “You have to remember that the police informed the population about the red dye on the bills five days ago, the money was in circulation already. After we were notified by the police, we started to look out for these bills however it has been in circulation already. If a customer report to us that he used our ATM and got a red stained bill, we investigate their claim. We can check the exact time the transaction took place, the amount and the currency of the transaction. Should the customer’s claim be true, we will refund the money immediately,” stated Downes.

On October 7, masked gunmen robbed the Rouge et Noir Casino. On October 13, the police announced that during this robbery a money bag containing an explosive dye pack was stolen. When the bag was removed from the casino it exploded and stained the money with a red color, causing it to become easily identifiable. Police requested citizens to contact them if these bills surfaced. Failure to do so would result in businesses or citizens to become a suspect in the case.

When the dye pack exploded top and bottom of the stacks were tainted full red, but the bills in between could just have a smear of the color. It is said to be difficult for the naked eye to spot right away.

Last week a woman was brought to the police station for questioning after she gave a cashier at RBC a red dyed banknote. The woman was later released after she could prove that she did indeed get the money from an ATM machine. The woman was very upset about the incident because she was handcuffed at the bank by police on Friday.

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