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Europe likely to ban EU500 note

Source: Fast Co - Tue 22th Mar 2016
Europe likely to ban EU500 note

The is hoping to ban the 500 note in a bid to stop criminals from dealing in cash, and high-denomination notes like the 500 make "black" money easier to handle.

In Spain, a common nickname for the 500 is the "Bin Laden," because everyone knows it exists, but nobody has ever seen one. And Spain, says the Guardian's Jennifer Rankin, is one of the countries behind the ban, partly thanks to a Chinese businessman Gao Ping, currently being prosecuted for laundering up to $335 million a year from his network of 4,000 Chinese bazaars, which sell plastic junk from almost every city street. When he was arrested, Ping had around EU12.5 Mln in his home, in cash, in 100, 200, and 500 bills.

The U.K., says Rankin, already stopped circulating the 500 note, on the grounds that it was "almost entirely for criminal purposes."

Even when dodgy cash is discovered, it's hard to tie it to a crime. Cash, unlike electronic transactions, leaves no paper trail.

"Our frustration from a law enforcement perspective is that [] in many jurisdictions it is impossible to provide sufficient evidence to satisfy judicial authorities of a link between suspicious cash detections and criminality," Europol's Jennifer MacLeod told the Guardian. In other words, the reason criminals still favor cash is because it is still the most anonymous and invisible way to transact business.

France has already banned cash transactions over 1,000, and Spain, too, limits large transactions. If you want to buy something like an iPad Pro tablet in Paris, you have to use a credit or debit card or you're breaking the law.

This ban on high-value cash transactions, though, has little to do with criminality, and everything to do with tax, and tracking what law-abiding citizens spend. If you're already carrying 1 million in 500 bills (which apparently fits nicely into a regular laptop case), then you're probably not worried that the international assassin you're about to pay off will report you to the cops for paying in cash. But for you and me, the policy makes it harder for us to live our legally conducted lives with any anonymity.

The policy makes it harder for us to live our legally conducted lives with any anonymity.

recommended Reading :

* 6 arrested in ICBC money laundering case ordered to jail

* Spain detains Ronaldo's Mum for carrying EU55K

Comment on this Story

The most times these notes ever surface is during Property transactions - when Estate Agents insist that it is 'normal' and 'insisted upon by the vendor' to have portion of the payment in cash. The brown envelope rarely gets as far as the vendor anyway, and is just a means of fiddling the books for the Agent. I can't say that I, or most normal working people will miss the 500 in any way, shape or form.
Robster - Tue, 22nd Mar 2016

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