SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force said on Thursday (Feb 1) that upon carrying out a joint investigation with its Indonesian counterparts, members of a transnational counterfeit currency syndicate have been caught.

Four Indonesian men between the ages of 39 and 51 were arrested by local police in Riau Province, Indonesia. The group was allegedly involved in counterfeiting, distributing, and trafficking counterfeit currency banknotes.

Police in Singapore first learned of the syndicate’s activities on Sept 21, 2023, after a couple presented a counterfeit S$10,000 note at a casino, allegedly in an attempt to exchange the note for casino chips.

The couple was told that the note was fake and produced another one for verification. The casino then took both from the couple, which turned the notes over to the Police’s Commercial Affairs Department for investigation.

The Police learned that the notes had been given to the couple by a business associate in Batam, Indonesia, as payment for a business transaction and that the couple had travelled from Batam that same day.

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They brought the notes to the casino, intending to use them for gambling, and discovered they were counterfeit.

The Police went on to share this information with the Indonesia National Police (INP) for further investigations to be carried out on their end.

INP officers then carried out three separate raids at Riau and West Java from Nov 15 to 20, 2023.

During the raids, they seized 390 pieces of Singapore banknotes of S$10,000 denomination, and three of the four suspects were arrested. The fourth man was picked up only recently.

However, no further action has been taken against the couple since there was insufficient evidence to suggest that they knew the notes they brought to the casino were counterfeit.

“Combatting counterfeit currency syndicates requires close collaboration with foreign law enforcement agencies.

The SPF had worked closely with the Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia Daerah Kepulauan Riau (Polda Kepri) of the Indonesia National Police on the case.

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The close collaboration between agencies led to the crippling of the currency counterfeiting syndicate based in Indonesia.

I would like to thank the Head of Provincial Police, Inspector General Yan Fitri Halimansyah of the Riau Islands Region, NCB Jakarta, Indonesia, and all the officers involved in this operation for their strong support and commitment to fight crime with the SPF,” said Mr David Chew, the Director of CAD.

More information on counterfeit banknotes may be found on the MAS website here. Individuals suspecting they are in possession of such bills may call the Police at 999. /TISG

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