Authorities have detained three people for their alleged involvement in counterfeiting US currency, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said yesterday.
Two men, surnamed Lin (林) and Huang (黃), and a woman surnamed Tsai (蔡) in November 2018 allegedly sold fake US$100 bills to a man surnamed Chen (陳), who did business in Taiwan and Mongolia, CIB official Lai Yao-tsung (賴耀宗) said.
“Chen had heard of offers to exchange money at good rates, reportedly at a 75 percent discount for US currency. Thinking of profiting from the transaction, he bought from Tsai and Huang 3,000 US$100 bills for NT$6.5 million [US$219,528 at the current exchange rate] in cash,” Lai said.
Photo: Huang Chia-ling, Taipei Times
Chen allegedly used his own counterfeit bill detector to screen the money at a face-to-face transaction, but a bank in Mongolia later detected the money as fake, so Chen returned to Taiwan with the counterfeit bills, the CIB said.
Lai said that the CIB worked with Kaohsiung police for several months surveilling the three suspects before conducting a search in January, followed by a March search, in which they seized 1,501 US$100 bills, along with communication records and other evidence.
The CIB said an examination of the bills and records was completed at the end of last month.
Sophisticated printing and engraving technology was used to create the bills, which passed smaller currency detectors, Lai said.
CIB experts said they believe the bills came from a Taiwanese counterfeiting ring in New Taipei City that authorities broke up in December last year.
In that case, police arrested five people and seized a total of US$11.04 million in counterfeit US$100 bills.
Bills from both cases contained the same misspelling, “departmend,” in the seal for the US Department of the Treasury, Lai said.
The CIB said it is still investigating, as the three suspects allegedly told officials that the bills came from a man surnamed Hsiao (蕭), known to have already passed away.
Kaohsiung prosecutors said they intend to indict the three people on fraud charges and offenses related to counterfeiting currency.
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