Olympics will bring influx of fake notes, says Holloway Road trader

A family businessman says counterfeit cash is a growing problem in Holloway Road after seeing four dodgy �50 notes in a week – and he fears the Olympics could create a further influx.

Nash Patel, 55, who has three businesses in the high street, in Upper Holloway, says three of his customers have tried to hand over fake �50 notes in the past week, while the nearby branch of William Hill also reported one.

Mr Patel, who runs Nash Newsagents, La Cappuccino Cafe and the Florin Pub, spotted two of the notes – which looked newly minted – but lost out when one of his bartenders handed over drinks and change.

He said: “There seem to be a lot of new fake �50 notes in circulation.

“Last Saturday I caught a guy trying to buy a can of coke with one and I said I was going to call the police. He got quite aggressive and then he ran out of the shop and left it behind. I have had two more since and lost �50 in the pub.”

Mr Patel says it is hard enough turning a profit as a small business without the added headache of being swindled by counterfeit money. And he fears the Olympics will only add to the problem.

He added: “A couple of years ago there was a big problem with fake �20 notes. Now I feel it is back again with �50 notes this time – and I reckon during the Olympics we will see another rise. We can lose lots of money this way. It’s hard enough without this.”

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A shopkeeper at Preedees Newsagent, also in Holloway Road, said: “I have seen the note that Nash received and it is very hard to tell it’s fake. We have not had any so far, but I am very wary now. We have to be very vigilant.”

Islington Police said only three fake notes had been reported to officers this year, one of which was by Mr Patel.