Sat, Jul 24, 2004 - Page 4 News List

FBI, Secret Service agents in Taiwan to investigate counterfeit US$100 bills

CNA , Los Angeles

A group of US investigation agents have flown to Taipei to help Taiwan authorities in their investigation into counterfeit US$100 banknotes believed to have originated in Taiwan, a US Secret Service source said Thursday.

US law enforcement officials, including those from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service, were assigned to Taipei after several banks in Los Angeles were reportedly identified fake US$100 bills, believed to have been brought to the US by Taiwanese nationals, William Giles, an officer with Secret Service said.

The special agents are helping Taiwanese law enforcement authorities to trace the source of the fake US$100 bills and lending their knowledge and skills in identifying counterfeit US banknotes, Giles said.

Age-old task

Giles also noted that tracing and investigating counterfeit banknotes has been one of the top tasks of the Secret Service since its inception in 1865. It is therefore a duty of the Secret Service officials to help Taiwanese law enforcement officials in these efforts, he added.

He further pointed out that although the Taiwan-originating fake US$100 bills have already entered the US, it will be difficult for them to be circulated in the wider American market since most consumers are used to using denominations of no more than US$20.

The US Secret Service, formerly a division under the Department of Finance, is now an independent agency whose job also includes protecting the US president and cracking down on smuggling.

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