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[Vigie Billet International]

A Citizen's Initiative

A note from the Chairman 

While waiting for Brussels

You know or you have heard of “Vigie Billet” and you have perhaps read the posters displayed in banks, post offices, police stations and gendarmeries.

We created this non-profit organization nearly five years ago in order to raise awareness, particularly among retailers, about the risks of accepting and circulating stained bank notes resulting from a theft.

Indeed, 60% of inter-bank transports are now carried out in protective suitcases on board of a majority of unmarked vehicles.  Thefts committed during the course of these modern transportations trigger a staining of the banknotes by releasing neutralizing products when the suitcases are forced open.  A high number of note distributors are protected by these same devices. Despite the circumstances, criminals continue to attempt to circulate these stained notes.  Our goal is to counteract these criminal activities.

The spreading of our message, “Do not accept stained notes”, will be reinforced in the coming year.  We are grateful for the support of our loyal partners, The Banque de France, The ECB, The French Banking Federation, The French Postal Service (La Poste), and all involved police forces.  Thank you also to the banks, chambers of commerce and retailers who accepted to facilitate and support our task.

The focus on our last general meeting was our sharing of information with authorities in the form of a new effective database.  We invite you to contribute your ideas and testimonials on our blog.

Our next important milestone was November 8 in Brussels. We were partnering with the Euricpa association in the organization of a full day conference on stained banknotes. Their organization of such an event reflects the now clearly acknowledged European dimension of the perils associated to the circulation of stolen notes. A leaflet has been produced after this meeting (check Advice section).

Your views are important to us and we are counting on your participation in our efforts.

We look forward to seeing you again very soon here,


Today, numerous security mechanisms make it possible to neutralise, through staining, notes that have been subject to attempted theft. The effectiveness of this technology and the development of prevention are communicated through information and education :

So that the public knows how to recognise, and knows not to accept or to exchange, stained notes that may be the result of a theft.

So that potential criminals understand that their thefts will bring them nothing.


Because it is possible to put an end to the circulation of stolen money.
Because crime must not pay.
Because like this, crime can be discouraged. Because the fight against crime is everyone's business.

Vigie Billet is a citizen’s initiative bringing together numerous public and private participants, individuals, companies and institutions involved in the production of bank notes, their conservation, circulation, protection and also the fight against and search for criminals.


Protecting goods is protecting people.