Pair arrested with B18m in fake US bills

Pair arrested with B18m in fake US bills

Bogus $100 bills believed printed on press that vanished after counterfeiting bust last year

Counterfeit US 100-dollar bills. (File photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Counterfeit US 100-dollar bills. (File photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Police have arrested two men with 18 million baht worth of counterfeit US currency, which they suspect might have been printed on a press that went missing after a counterfeiting bust last year.

The suspects, identified only by the pseudonyms Asmin and Abdulraman, were arrested while attempting to exchange the money at Siam Exchange on Phaya Thai Road in Bangkok on Friday, police said.

The two Phatthalung natives, aged 48 and 45, had a total of five thousand 100-dollar bills, which would be worth 18 million baht had they been real.

The suspects had taken the cash to the exchange in a backpack and initially attempted to convert only five bills. Authorities were alerted when staff detected the money was counterfeit after using a banknote scanner. They had decided to test the bills after noticing they had an unusual texture when touched.

During questioning, Asmin and Abulraman told police that they had obtained the cash from a rubber sale in their home province. However, investigators were sceptical and suspected they had been hired by someone to carry out the exchange.

The bills were taken to the Pathum Wan police station and the two were charged with counterfeiting and using counterfeit foreign currency.

Authorities have contacted the US Embassy in Bangkok and now believe the bills were produced by a printing press that went missing after a counterfeiting arrest that took place last year in Nakhon Pathom province.

Investigations are continuing.

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