No, these Pakistani 500 rupee notes are not counterfeit

A video that has been viewed millions of times on social media claims that 500 rupee notes which do not have a Pakistani flag on them are fake. The State Bank of Pakistan has said the notes are valid.

A video on Facebook, which has been viewed more than two million times and shared nearly 100,000 times since it was published October 13, 2019, warns people to check their 500 rupee notes.

The post is captioned in Urdu: “Really, fake notes were seized in bank?? What is the difference between fake and real, must watch this video…” 

The video shows a close up of hands flipping through a stack of 500 rupee notes pointing out those which do not carry an image of the Pakistani flag.

Screenshot of misleading Facebook post

"There are flags on original notes. There are some notes, which are replicas, fakes... which do not have a flag. See there is no flag on it," the narrator's voice says.

The video and other similar versions of the footage have been shared across social media platforms, for example here on YouTube where it has more than 120,000 views.

The State Bank of Pakistan, the country's central bank which is responsible for issuing bank notes, said in 2017 that both versions of the 500 rupee note are genuine, with or without the flag which is marked in optical variable ink (OVI).

“It is, therefore, clarified for benefit of all concerned that new design banknotes of Rs 500, with and without OVI flag, are genuine provided all other security features are intact,” the bank said in a statement.

Screenshot of State Bank of Pakistan notice

Details of the other security features on the banknotes, which include electrotype watermarks and window security threads, can be seen here on the state bank’s official website.

The state bank said that the 500 rupee notes it issued between 2006 and 2009 did not have the Pakistani flag on them.

The feature was added to notes printed after 2010, and those notes were put in circulation alongside the older notes, which is why both types are currently available.

Here is the Pakistani 500 rupee note without the flag and here it is with the flag on the state bank's official website.

Here are both notes seen side by side:

Side by side images of genuine 500 rupees Pakistani currency notes