24 Jul 2008

Samoa issues new banknotes

9:49 am on 24 July 2008

Samoa has issued a new set of banknotes.

The 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 tala notes began circulating this week and will gradually replace the current currency notes.

Launching the new currency, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi,

said that the decision to print a new family of currency notes was made four years ago to celebrate the 45 years of service by the late Head of State, Maleitoa Tanumafili II

Unfortunately, His Highness passed away before the notes were ready, but since a substantial cost had been incurred with the detailed designs, Cabinet agreed to proceed with the printing of the new notes.

Cabinet also wanted to combat the increased amount of counterfeit currency circulating.

The new money depicts churches, beaches, government buildings, the Manu Samoa sevens rugby team that won the 2007 Sevens in Hong Kong and tattoo motifs.

The notes were designed and printed by De La Rue of England at a cost of nearly 3 million US dollars.