Months ago, “HD90” counterfeit RMB bills appeared and in circulation caused panic. Recently another large group of counterfeit bills with serial numbers “CE86” and the “CH31” have flown into the market in Fuzhou.
Yesterday, Fuzhou Police department (in Fujian Province), announced that they has swooped on a gang buying and selling counterfeit in CNY100, CNY50, CNY20 and CNY10 denominations and the total amount over CNY1, 030,000. The notes started with the serial numbers “CE86” and “CH31”. Apparently these notes have higher quality than “HD” counterfeit which appeared several months ago.
According to the Fuzhou Police, they had been involved in an investigation since Jan 20th after the lead of a local man Zhang illegally holding counterfeit RMB with face value of CNY 90,000. They were able to gather information on Zhang’s business with the local gang, buying and selling these counterfeit to make a living.
On February 23rd, Fuzhou Police feels the time is right, sent 70 policemen in 8 groups targeting various locations and arrested seven suspects, seized 1.03 million counterfeit RMB. Most of these notes started with serial number “CE86” and “CH31.”
“These criminals are very sophisticated, they stopped running the “HD” counterfeit business awhile back.” says Fuzhou city public security bureau instructor Lui, Yidi. One of the suspects has confessed, in the past months, “HD” counterfeit has attracted too much publicity by the media everywhere, it made very difficult to spend these bills. Therefore, they chose to purchase these “CE86” and “CH31” notes.
Before the arrest, a small portion of the counterfeit bills have already flown into the market. The police said these counterfeit notes have higher quality than before. For example, the CNY 100 counterfeit bill has increased thickness of the inked lines, so it feels just like the real thing when touched by hand. The forgers’ skills have improved. Some also printed watermark and even forge the metal line buried in the bank notes.
Liu said they also found a small plastic bag full of needles on one of the suspects. According to the suspect, it is used to prick the counterfeit bills to increase realism. “They pack needles to small plastic bag and let it prick on the bills in order to give a rough and bumpy feeling when touch by hand.” Liu also said these counterfeit bills can be identified through careful inspection. Also they can be identified via upgraded version of the currency detectors.
Bus passenger carries suitcase of 580,000 counterfeit RMB
On February 23rd 2pm, a man over 40 carried a suitcase and got off a long distance bus near a freeway exit in Fuzhou. After getting off the bus, the man looked around as if he is waiting for something or someone. Suddenly, couple policemen showed up. They captured the man and handcuffed him immediately. This is not a scene from a TV show, but an actual scene of Fuzhou police arresting a suspect of counterfeiting crime.
This man named Chen, Moqing at first acted as if not knowing anything. “Why are you arresting me?” he shouted while being handcuffed. When police opened his suitcase, he suddenly was stunned. In the suit case, neatly stacked fresh new bills, still smelled like ink. After inspection, all bills are counterfeited with total face value CNY 580,000.
“We already knew you went to Guangzhou to purchase 58 Jin (1 Jin = 500 grams in weight, as in suspect’s term 1 Jin is 10,000 Yuan and 1 ounce is 1,000 Yuan) counterfeit RMB, we are waiting for you here for long time.” said police. Looking at the evidence, Chen lowered his head and said no more words.
It turned out as early as January 20th Fuzhou police already started the investigation on Chen’s criminal organization. After more than a month’s work, they decided to make the arrest on February 23rd. After Chen’s arrest, on the same day police arrested the rest of 6 members of this organization.
According to the investigation, the gang members were from the same area of the Fujian province. Since 2002, they have purchased counterfeit RMB with total face value of CNY 1.265 million and smuggled them into Fuzhou. Each CNY 100 counterfeit bill was purchased at price of CNY 1.5.
Distribution through multi-level marketing model, and through massage parlors, gambling establishments
The Police states most of the counterfeit distributors are farmers or vagrants without jobs. The trades were more hidden than before, they do not use the traditional way where you bring the money I bring the good. They use cell phone, credit card and other means. Sometimes, in order to fool others, criminals use methods like mixing majority of the counterfeit bills with some real ones, a stack of bills with only the first one and the last one real and the rest fake.
From the confessions, Chen’s gang uses multi-level marketing model to distribute these counterfeit notes. They sell them for 1-3 RMB per 100 counterfeit RMB to the second layer of buyers. Then the second layer buyer sells them for 5-6 RMB per 100 counterfeit RMB. The third layer buyer then sells them for 7-8 RMB per 100 counterfeit RMB. “This model ensures that every level of the buyers earns profits, so that criminals can achieve long-term businesses.” The police said.
It was learned that criminals usually get the counterfeit bills into the market through four ways: massage girls, the casino, taxi drivers and ask for changes through other business places. In the massage parlor, some massage girls can take advantage of some of the customers’ negligence and exchange their real money with fake ones. In casino, gambler brings in counterfeit bills and exchanges them with other gamblers. Another ways is through taxi drivers. They also can exchange their fake bills with the passengers. Of course the most common way is when criminal shops at varies kinds of businesses with a fake large bill and get real changes back.
Fuzhou police department spokesman Liu, Ming said, the trend of counterfeit bills are going towards lower face values but higher qualities. Counterfeiters found that people already pay more attention to the large face valued bills and have a better way to identify them. So, they have changed their strategies to start making low faced valued bills also, and there are even fake coins out there.
Regarding this trend, police urge and remind citizens to not lower your guards. You should identify bills using the following methods “first look, second touch, third listen, fourth test”. First look for water marks, see if they are clear and looks 3D, then look for embedded metal line. Also see if each bill is consistent with each other. Second touch the bills, see if you can feel concave and convex on the inked lines. Third listen, the real bills are made of special paper which gives a very crisp sound when you shake it. Forth is test, real bills will have some refection under black lights. Use magnetic instrument to test the embedded magnetic imprints. Also use magnifying glass to check the quality of the artwork and details.