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Monday November 19, 2012

Fake RM50 and RM100 notes circulating in Malacca

MALACCA: Counterfeit ringgit notes are making the rounds in the state and have made victims of many traders here.

They have reportedly been duped into accepting counterfeit RM100 and RM50 notes.

Apparently, they have incurred losses of up to RM20,000 each since early this year when the fake notes first surfaced.

In a recent case, a businessman in his late 40s from Masjid Tanah here had a police report lodged against him by his bank after he deposited RM13,000 into his account.

The report on Nov 8 revealed that RM1,000 of the amount, which is in RM100 denominations, had the same serial numbers.

Police found that the businessman was a loyal customer of the bank for many years, and this was the first time that he had inadvertently deposited counterfeit currency.

Scores of convenience shops owners and staff in the state have also lodged reports after they received the notes from locals and tourists.

A senior police officer, who requested anonymity, said producing fake notes used to be a difficult and expensive affair which required large printing presses.

“Today, it’s much easier to create counterfeit notes with a personal computer, scanner and printer, and takes less than 10 minutes,” he said.

The officer said the re-creation of intricate currency designs and patterns have been made simpler now, whereby the RM50 or RM100 notes can be reproduced within minutes.

“However, some details of lines and patterns, microprints and the small strip embedded in the genuine notes are lost.

“Additional security features in the latest notes have made them hard to be automatically accepted by cash deposit machines.

“So, traders usually go to the counter to bank in their money when the machine rejects them,” he said, adding that staff manning sales counters at shopping complexes, bars and other commercial outlets have been cheated.

“Many were deceived into receiving the notes which have been added with the real ones.”

He said the people could detect the fake notes by using UV (ultra-violet) money detectors, which are usually utilised by the banks and commercial centres.

Malacca Commercial Crimes chief Superintendent Soh Hock Sing said the police were investigating the matter.

He advised the public to pay close attention to the notes when carrying out transactions.

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