Thousands of fake US$100 bills seized in sting
Chiang Rai woman arrested after police officer poses as prospective buyer of fake bills
published : 6 Sep 2019 at 16:25
writer: Online Reporters
CHIANG RAI: A 54-year-old woman has been arrested and counterfeit US dollar banknotes with a face value of more than 16 million baht seized at a house after a covert operation in Muang district.
Masaras Nitisakyothin was taken into custody by officers of the 32nd Border Patrol Police Division after they searched her house in tambon Rim Kok on Thursday.
They found two metal boxes containing counterfeit US$100 notes on the second floor of the house.
The first box had 4,949 banknotes, worth about 15 million baht at face value. The second held 524 banknotes, worth about 1.6 million baht, according to the border patrol police Facebook page.
The team also found many black notes the same size as the $100 bills. The black notes were believed awaiting washing with chemicals, part of the counterfeiting process.
The raid came after border patrol police learned that counterfeit US dollar notes had been sold in tambon Rim Kok.
Pol Col Wachira Phayanoi, superintendent of the 32nd division, posed as a buyer of counterfeit currency, contacting the owner of the target house in the community, Thai media reported.
Ms Masaras, the owner of the house, arranged to meet the "potential buyer" at a nearby petrol station. During their conversation there he gained her trust. She took him to her house and allegedly showed him counterfeit US dollar banknotes and chemicals being used to turn the black notes into counterfeit bills.
Pol Col Wachira covertly ordered a border patrol team to obtain a court warrant to search her house. He then revealed he was a police officer.
Ms Masaras was charged initially with possessing counterfeit foreign banknotes with intent to use and taken to Muang police station for legal action.
Counterfeit banknotes are found in a metal box at the suspect's house in Chiang Rai. (Photo taken from 32nd Border Patrol Police Facebook page)
Photo taken from 32nd Border Patrol Police Facebook page
Below: Border patrol police with the suspect at her house in Chiang Rai on Thursday. (Photo taken from 32nd Border Patrol Police Division Facebook page)