The UK has banned the sale of 500 euro notes from banks and foreign exchange bureaux after it was revealed that 90% were linked to drug trafficking, money laundering, terrorism and other forms of crime.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) said that most 500 euro notes, worth about £426 each, were being used by criminals who want to discreetly transport large quantities of cash.

The notes take up ten times less space than sterling – it’s possible to swallow 150,000 euros and 20,000 euros can be hidden in a cigarette packet.

After eight months of analysis and undercover investigation, Soca established that the 500 euro note is at the heart of money laundering.

Tourists and other legitimate customers will not be affected by the changes however.

The 500 euro note remains legal currency but it will no longer be for sale from banks and foreign exchange bureaux.

500 euro notes are dubbed the “bin Laden” because although everyone knows what it looks like, you rarely see one!

That makes us feel marginally better that we’ve never had one in our pocket.

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Banks and money in the UK
Opening a bank account in the UK
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Tags: Money, Exchange rate, Sterling, Euro, Crime, Banks, Banking, Exchange Bureaux, Currency