Mounties have made one of the largest seizures of counterfeit currency in more than 20 years.

In a news release, the RCMP say $1 million in "novelty" $100 bank notes was seized after the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted a package.

This led police to search a home in Gatineau, Que. A man and a woman were arrested and are expected to face charges. In addition to the stacks of phony cash, police also seized some electronic devices.

"The investigation revealed that the fake bank notes had been imported from abroad through an Internet website," the RCMP said. "According to the National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau database, this was the largest seizure of counterfeit 'novelty' bank notes with anticipated charges since 2001."

The bills resemble Canadian $100 bills, but have features that are not found on genuine notes. The Mounties say it is illegal to possess bank notes that resemble genuine bank notes, even if they are of poor quality, and even if they come from legitimate websites.

The charges against the couple have yet to be announced.


The Bank of Canada has tips on what to do if you suspect you've been given a counterfeit.

During a transaction

If you suspect that you’re being offered a counterfeit note, assess the situation to ensure that you are not at risk. Then, do the following:

  •  Politely refuse the note and explain that you suspect that it may be counterfeit.
  •  Ask for another note (and check it too).
  •  Advise the person to check the note with the local police.
  •  Inform your local police of a possible attempt to pass suspected counterfeit money.
  •  Be courteous. Remember that the person in possession of the bill could be an innocent victim who does not realize that the note is suspicious.

After a transaction

If you suspect that you’ve received a counterfeit note, give it to the local police.

  •  If it’s real, you’ll get it back.
  •  Either way, the police should be informed of possible counterfeiting activity in your community. Timely reporting helps police and prosecutors bring counterfeiters to justice.
  • The Royal Canadian Mint says any investigation into counterfeit currency must be initiated by the police.

You can see details about the security features of Canadian bank notes here