Australia — A man has been arrested in Adelaide for allegedly stealing unique bank notes, including a one hundred trillion Zimbabwean dollar bill.
The Harare administration was forced to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009 after it had been rendered virtually worthless by hyperinflation.
Monetary authorities at the time remarkably decided to tame the inflation beast by feeding it. The higher inflation spiked, the bigger the denomitations minted by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) under then governor Gideon Gono.
By the time inflation peaked at an estimated 500 billion percent in 2008, the RBZ had responded with the one hundred trillion dollar bill — the single largest known note to be printed by any central bank .
According to an Adelaide-based tabloid, The Advertiser, local police arrested a 32-year-old man and found him with an assortment of bank notes thought to have been stolen.
The bills included distinctive German Deutschmarks printed in 1920, $1 000 Korean Wons, 100 Baisa Oman notes, and a one hundred trillion Zimbabwean dollar note.
The suspect was expected to appear in court at a later date.
Investigators called on the public to help identify the owner of the bills but they would be required to provide proof of ownership.
Although no longer in use, the Zimbabwe dollar has become a curiosity for collectors bemused by the country’s hyperinflationary mayhem which was considered as the worst for any nation not at war by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The 100 trillion dollar Zimbabwean dollar note was this Thursday selling for between $5 and as much as $100 on eBay.
Since ditching the Zimdollar, the country has used multiple currencies, dominated by the United States dollar. A local surrogate currency, the bond notes, was introduced in November 2016.