€500 notes no longer sold in UK over crime fears

275x250.jpgMoney exchange offices in the UK have stopped selling the 500 Euro note -- because experts say 90 percent of them are used by crooks.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) say the high value Euro notes are almost exclusively in the procession of gangs, drug dealers and money launderers.

€500 notes are said to have been particularly attractive to criminals because they takes up less than a tenth of the space of the alternatives in sterling, meaning they can be moved easier.

Experts say an adult male "mule" could swallow 150,000 euros (£127,705) of the notes and 20,000 euros could even be hidden in a cigarette packet.

While no more €500s will be issued, the note is not being made illegal and anyone with one will still be able to pay it into their bank… where tellers will look at them suspiciously.
SOCA Deputy Director Ian Cruxton said: "There is no doubt that the main UK demand for the €500 note comes from serious organised criminals.

"The banknote wholesalers have shown decisive leadership in withdrawing supply.

"This is a bold and welcome move which will cause substantial disruption to criminals' ability to move and launder large quantities of cash."

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