The screengrabs from the video show the misprinted reverse side of what would otherwise be legal tender.
The screengrabs from the video show the misprinted reverse side of what would otherwise be legal tender.

KARACHI: A video purportedly made by a bank staffer showing incomplete half-printed banknotes sparked concerns among social media users and the people, prompting the State Bank of Pakistan to announce an investigation on Tuesday.

The video surfaced on social media depicts a man calling himself the manager of the Model Colony branch of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). He can be seen holding two Rs1,000 currency notes which are blank from the backside.

“I have no idea how many bundles have been dispatched already. These were returned by a customer and that is how we got to know about it,” he said. Then he proceeded to zoom in on a table where another bank employee sat, inspecting currency notes in a bundle. As the worker flipped through, one note after the fourth turned out blank on the back.

SBP says the matter is being investigated to ascertain its veracity

“Every packet has at least two notes like this,” the manager said in the video.

Dawn tried to reach a spokesperson for the NBP for his version but there was no response.

The video went viral on social media as in just a few hours, it circulated on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram, gaining thousands of views and comments, particularly on Facebook.

“Be very careful when you are taking cash from bank and ATMs. Verify and check each and every note personally,” Advocate Khalid Khan Lodhi, a verified X user wrote while sharing the original video.

“This is carelessness of printing staff of Pakistan Security Printing Press Karachi, and State Bank is equally responsible,” another user commented under the video posted by ‘Karachi Se’, a public account on Facebook.

“If these are new bundles, then this is extremely irresponsible behaviour by the State Bank,” Facebook user Faisal Butt commented.

“State Bank of Pakistan should take serious action against this,” another comment read under the post.

The video was also widely shared in different groups of Facebook. Some people called out the bank manager for not reaching out to the line of reporting and posting a video on social media instead.

“The cash should have been sorted before the bundles went out,” user Umar Farooq commented under the video which was shared on ‘Bankers Forum’, a Facebook group dedicated to the information regarding banks in Pakistan.

“Directly report to your bank’s cash house instead of posting a video on social media,” user Abdullah Soomro commented in the same group.

When contacted, the chief spokesman of the SBP said the matter was being investigated to find out whether it was factual or not. He said this was a rare incident and it happened once in a blue moon.

If true, this was the case of only one branch of a bank, he added.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2024

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