A businessman tore up and flushed a handful of £20 notes down the toilet after his bank told him they were fake - only for police to later tell him later they were genuine. The man, who does not wish to be named, was among a number of businessman led to believe their cash was counterfeit on the Western Isles of Scotland after bank staff became suspicious of £10 and £20 notes.
A police inquiry was launched on the Isle of Lewis three weeks ago amid fears of a well-organised counterfeiting operation. At one stage two people were detained by police during the operation which began when the town's banks, RBS and Bank of Scotland, began refusing notes claiming they were counterfeit. This was followed by many of the local shops which stopped accepting £10 and £20 notes and purchased ultra-violet scanners in a bid to catch the counterfeit notes.
The businessman said: "This is a right mess and it was caused by the RBS and Bank of Scotland. I am fairly sure this is all about their failure to properly train their local staff on how to spot fake notes. I tore up the £20 notes returned to me by the bank as fakes and I put them down the toilet to stop them getting back into circulation. I thought that was my public duty. How do I prove that and who is going to compensate me?"
A spokesman for Bank of Scotland said: "We found what we thought were inconsistencies with some banknotes and as a precaution we set these notes aside so they were no longer in circulation. We have robust procedures in place which are standard across the industry. Where we believe there is a chance banknotes are counterfeit, as a precaution we will always remove these from circulation until further testing proves they are genuine."
With news video.