Three nabbed over $1.4m fake notes

Local | Cindy Wan 8 Aug 2018

Three men were arrested in To Kwa Wan on Monday night on suspicion of operating a workshop engaged in producing fake HK$500 and HK$1,000 banknotes.

Police warned citizens to be wary of bogus banknotes, some of which might had been used by the suspects in convenience stores or taxis.

Acting on tip-offs, officers of the West Kowloon police's regional intelligence unit conducted a raid, code-named "Thunderbolt 18," at 10pm on Monday.

First to be intercepted on Yin On Street was a 47-year-old American man, who was carrying 240 HK$500 counterfeit banknotes. He then led officers to a flat on the same street.

At the flat, police seized fake banknotes worth over HK$1.4 million, including nine phoney HK$500 notes, 30 fake HK$1,000 notes, 35 unfinished HK$500 notes and 1,200 unfinished HK$1,000 notes. The bogus currency mimics banknotes from Bank of China, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp and Standard Chartered.

Counterfeiting tools used to create the banknotes were also seized which included three inkjet printers, a computer, color pens and paper cutters.

Police also uncovered suspected stolen goods at the flat, comprised of four tablets, 64 mobile phones, 11 handbags and 10 watches.

Two Pakistani men, aged 35 and 39, returned to the flat while police were conducting their search.

They were both arrested on suspicion of involvement in the production of counterfeit currency and theft.

The 39-year-old man possessed a fake recognizance form when he was apprehended.

Police believe the workshop had been operating for a few months, and the American is alleged to be the ringleader.

Watson Hau Lai-man, chief inspector of the unit, said printers produced the counterfeit banknotes which did not have watermarks or other security features.

He said identifying the fake notes was easy.

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