Money and the law

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The Weirdest Money Laws around the World

14th June 2019

The law *yawn* isn’t always a riveting topic of conversation. But there are some weird money laws out there that offer a bit more entertainment, and potentially some travel money tips for your next holiday. Before you test your luck with these laws, be sure to stock up on your foreign currency from your nearest Travel Money Nz store.


Don’t step out of line in Thailand

Lese Majeste was introduced in Thailand in 1908. This law basically states that it is a serious offence to defame, insult, threaten or defile an image of the Thai royal family.

This gets a little bit complicated for the humble traveller, as this law extends to the defacing of Thai money, on which the royal family are depicted. So whatever you do, don’t step on the currency! This could land you in jail. You’ll need some THB before you go, or if you have two left feet, load your onto your Travel Money Nz Cash Passport to avoid stepping on the cash.


Canadian coins count

If you find yourself waiting in line in Canada, and the person in front of you starts counting out pennies for their purchase, you can have that person arrested. Well, kind of.

According to the Canadian Currency Act, there are heaps of legal restrictions on what you can and can’t pay for with coins. The Act states that it is illegal to use more than 25 pennies in any transaction. So if that person in front dares to use 26 coins, send ‘em to jail and take their pennies for good measure. Make sure you grab some Canadian dollars (don’t worry we won’t give you pennies) from your nearest store before you leave.


A slice in NYC

The next time you’re in New York and are a bit peckish for a bagel, there is one money rule you need to remember. Never ask for your bagel to be sliced! As soon as the bagel is sliced or schmeared, it is considered prepared food, and you could be taxed up to 9 cents.

Not a huge amount I know, but imagine if you were in NYC for 2 weeks and ate a sliced bagel for breakfast, lunch and dinner! You would be down $3.78. Okay, that’s still not bad, and kind of worth it to have your bagel schmeared.


Indian lost and found

In India, if you find any money exceeding 10 rupees (around 20 cents) on the side of the road, you must turn this over to the Police. This law was created as part of the India Treasure Trove Act of 1878 and was designed to protect the property of citizens.

However, this law isn’t always enforced, especially for smaller sums.

Whatever you do, though, don’t gamble with those extra rupees. Gambling is banned in India, and playing cards for money can be considered a form of gambling. So make sure if you participate in a card game in public, do not wager money or anything that could stand-in for currency, or you could be hit with a hefty fine or up to three months in jail. So you don’t have to resort to getting your travel money through finding it on the street or through illegal gambling, make sure you stock up on Indian Rupees in one of our 25 +stores across New Zealand.


Aussie fat stacks

The Australian Currency Act 1965 (section 16) states that coins are not legal tender if they exceed certain amounts. If you see a person exceeding $5 in any combination of 5-cent, 10-cent, 20-cent or 50-cent coins, or 10 times the face value of $1 or $2 coins, lock ‘em up, boys. However, this is at the discretion of the person being paid, so if they are happy to accept a stack of coins then go nuts, and load ‘em up, boys.

If you’re preparing for your next holiday, make sure you avoid falling victim to these weird laws by having your foreign currency ready on cash and a prepaid Travel Money Nz Cash Passport. Check out our foreign currency online, or come in store and chat with an expert about everything travel and foreign exchange!


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