Mon | Dec 11, 2023

Use dye on banknotes to deter thieves

Published:Saturday | March 25, 2023 | 12:10 AM


Recently, there has been a spate of robberies from ATM machines and the couriers refilling them. Further, the solutions to deter these thefts that are being suggested so far involve surveillance cameras, etc.

I consider these ideas ineffective. As an engineer, I ask “How could the thieves be deterred?” The answer that is obvious to me is, “Make the money they steal useless.”

How can this be done? It is an easy fix. I have heard of methods where a dye is soaked into the money if it is stolen. I don’t know exactly how this is done, but it is worthwhile exploring. If I were designing the device, compressed gas cartridge can be used, triggered by a mechanism, if there is a theft of the ATM machine, by a motion sensor, to pressurise a container of dye (perhaps fluorescent red) and inject it into the money, and maybe spray the thieves too.

If the thieves (with faces dyed red) knew that, if they tried to buy goods with money permanently dyed fluorescent red nobody would take it, as it will be useless, and they can’t go out with paint on their faces. Wouldn’t that deter the thieves?



Jamaica Institution of Engineers