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Last Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006, 06:00 GMT 07:00 UK
Dud notes apology to rugby fans
Out-of-date 100 peso note
The Post Office has apologised for issuing the invalid notes
The Post Office has apologised to rugby fans who went to Argentina to see Wales play the Pumas after issuing them with banknotes they were unable to spend.

Some supporters were given dud 100 peso notes when exchanging currency before leaving, which they said they later found had expired in 1991.

The fans, also disappointed at Wales' two defeats, said they were left red faced when they went to spend the cash.

The Post Office said it would fully investigate how the mix-up occurred.

One of those affected, Michael O'Brien, from Caerbryn near Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, said before setting off to Argentina he had ordered 3,000 pesos from his local post office.

When he arrived, he discovered 2,000 pesos - worth about 400 - had expired.

The banks would not take them, the shops would not take them - it was dead money
Tony Brown, rugby fan

"It was very inconvenient and very embarrassing," he said.

"When I went to use the money they told me when the currency collapsed in 1991 and they issued new notes, the ones I had were worthless.

"They had been ordered from the head office and came in a sealed bag. They looked to be brand new notes that had not been used before.

"Luckily I was with friends and when I ran out of money in Patagonia they were able to help me until I could get to a bank."

We shall be undertaking an investigation into the cases that have been brought to our attention"
Post Office Ltd statement

He said before he knew they were worthless he had used one of the notes to buy a ticket for the game from one of the touring party.

"We got back early on Tuesday and I have already had a full refund," he added.

Leaflets issued at currency exchanges in Argentina show the difference between the valid and out-of-date notes.

Tony Brown, from Lamphey in Pembrokeshire, said he was left with nine 100 peso notes he could not use.

"The banks would not take them, the shops would not take them - it was dead money," he said.

Image of invalid and current 100 peso note
Leaflets show the out-of-date currency (left) and valid notes

"I was one of two on my party with them and we came across three or four others," he said.

Post Office Ltd said in a statement that it was the UK's leading supplier of foreign currency, serving more than 12m customers a year.

"We are very sorry to hear about the difficulties incurred by some Welsh rugby fans during their trip to Argentina and we would like to apologise to them for any inconvenience that they may have encountered," it added.

The company said staff at all its branches were fully trained to ensure all foreign currency banknotes were valid and it was satisfied its procedures were robust.

It added: "However, we shall be undertaking an investigation into the cases that have been brought to our attention".

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