World Coins

RCMP officials seize fake Canadian $2 coins produced in China

Canada’s $2 coin, in use since 1996, is nicknamed the “Twoonie,” created by pairing the denomination with the $1 coin's nickname, “Loonie,” for the loon on its reverse. In the close-ups, a counterfeit example of Canada’s $2 coin, right, is identified by the “split toe” on the polar bear. Toe detail on a genuine coin is shown in the left close-up.

Close-up images courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; overall coin images courtesy of Numismatic Guaranty Co.

To tell the difference between polar bears and brown bears, one can look at their claws and ears. Among Canadian Polar Bear $2 coins, to distinguish between real and recently surfaced fake coins, the toes are the giveaway.

Approximately 10,000 counterfeit Toonies have been identified and seized, following an investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The giveaway was a “split-toe” on the right front paw of the polar bear, which resembles a “claw,” according to the RCMP announcement.

The agency’s Greater Toronto Area Trans-National Serious & Organized Crime Section have charged one individual, Daixiong He (age 68) of Richmond Hill, Ontario, as a result of the investigation, which resulted after the counterfeits were discovered beginning in summer 2021.

The Royal Canadian Mint identified an ongoing counterfeit currency issue through their random sampling process, and the RCM then contacted the RCMP’s GTA-TSOC to begin an investigation to identify those involved in passing the counterfeit coins.

Throughout the investigation, the RCMP seized approximately 10,000 examples of this specific type of counterfeit $2 coin that had been placed into the Canadian banking system.

Made in China

Additional counterfeit coins are believed to remain in circulation, according to the RCMP, which said these fakes were made in China.

He was arrested and released on an undertaking. He has been charged with uttering counterfeit money, contrary to Section 452 of the Criminal Code; and possession of counterfeit money, contrary to Section 450 of the Criminal Code.

The suspect’s first court appearance was June 2 and he subsequently appeared in court July 7. His next appearance is scheduled for Aug. 8.

Officials are mum

Officials for the RCMP declined to provide any further details about the disposition of the case at press time.

“These criminal charges are a reflection of the RCMP’s resolve in preserving the integrity of the Canadian currency system,” the RCMP said in its May 9 announcement. “The RCMP is committed to working with the Royal Canadian Mint, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), FINTRAC, banks, and municipal police partners, to combat illicit efforts that target Canada’s economic system,” said superintendent Ann Koenig, district commander of the GTA-TSOC Section”

A spokesperson for the RCM declined to further comment on the issue, pointing to the RCMP announcement, which included a comment from James Malizia, vice president of corporate security at the RCM.

“The unique features on Canada’s circulation coins make them among the most secure in the world and allowed these counterfeit pieces to be identified and removed from circulation quickly,” Malizia said. “The Royal Canadian Mint will continue to work closely with financial institutions and the RCMP to ensure the integrity of Canada’s coin supply.”

The ringed-bimetallic $2 coin has a nickel ring surrounding a copper-nickel-aluminum core. The coin weighs 7.3 grams and measures 28 millimeters in diameter.

The coin has an equivalent value of about $1.56 U.S.

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