The new NIS 200 note
The new NIS 200 noteBank of Israel

Only two weeks into its circulation, counterfeit copies of the new 200 shekel bill featuring the face of poet Natan Alterman have been discovered in northern Israel. 

Five residents of Bedouin town Tuba-Zangariyye have so far been arrested for forgery and possession of the fake banknotes. 

They were detained by Northern District Police after managing to use the counterfeit bills at gas stations in Karmiel and the Mahanayim kibbutz in the Upper Galilee. 

Police will request to extend the forgery ring's remand at the Kiryat Shemona Magistrates Court. 

Responding to news of the arrests Thursday, the Bank of Israel stressed that counterfeit copies of the 200 shekel bill are easily identifiable. 

"The security features on the new series of banknotes are the most advanced in the world, clear and simple to identify," a statement read.

Anyone familiar with the identifying marks can easily distinguish between authentic and fake copies of the 200 shekel bill, the Bank of Israel added. 

It did, however, urge the public to examine every bank note it receives during financial transactions, especially the 200 shekel bills.