'Serial crime' wave hits Bank of Japan

The Bank of Japan has reprimanded five employees at its Maebashi branch office for swapping 11 old banknotes for 11 newly designed banknotes with sought-after serial numbers, such as E888888M.

The new 1,000 yen, 5,000 yen and 10,000 yen bills went into circulation on 1 November after the first redesign of Japanese banknotes in 20 years.

The five bank clerks work in the bill issuing section and swapped the banknotes when their supervisor was absent, the Yomiuri Shimbun said.

The five bank clerks