‘Maker’ of fake bills falls in Day-as raid

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Thursday, May 29, 2014


POLICE arrested last Wednesday in Barangay Day-as, Cebu City a former ship cook for allegedly manufacturing counterfeit peso bills.

The Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 confiscated fake notes of different denominations from Nicolas Herrera, 54.

The counterfeit bills total P27,300.

Supt. Rex Derilo, head of RSOG, warned stores and vendors to also check small bills to avoid getting counterfeit notes.

Most of the time sales personnel or cashiers scrutinize only the P1,000 and P500 bills. They readily accept P100, especially if there is a long line at the counter, he said.

Operatives from RSOG had to pose as buyers to arrest Herrera. They bought P1,000 worth of fake bills from him past 4 p.m. following several weeks of surveillance.

Confiscated

Law enforcers seized six P500 bills; three P200 bills; six P100 bills; six uncut P1,000; 18 uncut P500 and 81 uncut P100 bills.

During a press briefing, Derilo said the RSOG is monitoring a group that may be producing large quantities of counterfeit money in Central Visayas.

He said, though, that most of the suspects operate on their own or in pairs.

Herrera, when interviewed by reporters, said he started manufacturing fake peso bills
about two months.

“Tiguwang na ta. Lisod naman pangita og trabaho gud (I’m already old and it’s difficult to find work),” he said.

He said he printed the notes at Internet cafes using regular bondpaper. He stores the design in a USB flash drive, which he would hand over to the Internet café attendant.

Price

He said he prints out bills only when there is a buyer.

He sells a P1,000 and P500 bill for P100 each, and P200 bill for P40. A counterfeit P100 is sold at P25.

Herrera said most of his buyers operate in Bohol Province.

A complaint for violating Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code, or the illegal possession and use of false notes of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, will be filed against Herrera.

Derilo said the police checked Internet cafes that printed the fake bills. He said they can be held criminally liable.

Establishments or vendors who have fallen victims to fake bills should also report the incident to the police or Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), he said.

He reminded the public to check the security features of peso bills before accepting them as payment or change.

Genuine notes are printed on a special paper with rough or coarse texture. They have watermark figures that are solid, distinct, well-defined and life-like.

The serial numbers of a genuine note are also composed of one or two prefix letters and six to seven digits.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 30, 2014.

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