Tripoli, 23 October:
Five-dinar and ten-dinar bank notes of . . .[restrict]the fourth and fifth series are to be withdrawn from circulation as of Thursday, 1 November. The announcement was made late yesterday by the Central Bank of Libya.
The series number is the first of the numbers on the front of the bank note.
The bank said it had decided to withdraw the notes ahead of issuing newly-designed five and ten dinar notes. Many have already been withdrawn. Those still in circulation tend to be battered and crumpled.
People have until a week on Thursday to exchange them at banks.
“They have not given us much time,” complained Ahemd, a Tripoli taxi driver, after hearing the news this morning. “Why did they not tell us earlier?”
In fact, holders of the notes should be able to hand them in after 1 November. Although the notes cease to be legal tender as of that date, and banks are supposed to hand them in to the Central Bank by then, it will still accept them until 31 December. After that they become worthless paper, at best collectors’ items.
In its statement, the Central Bank urged all commercial banks and their branches to allow the public to exchange banknotes in their possession or deposit them into their accounts, and to do so in a manner that would ensure as smooth a process as possible.