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Thursday, 3 January, 2002, 22:31 GMT
Fake euro note found
A fake euro note has been found in Germany.

It is the first forgery of the currency to come to light since the launch of the euro notes and coins on Tuesday.

The 50 euro note was discovered by a 12-year-old girl on a heater in the carriage of a train, which was travelling across the west of the country.

She quickly handed it over to the authorities.

A police spokesman told the BBC that it was an unspectacular copy, that had none of the normal security marks, such as holograms.

He said it was hard to say whether it was simply lost or placed on the train on purpose.

A criminal investigation has begun and early fingerprint tests have proved inconclusive, as the note appears to have passed through many hands.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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