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Smugglers caught with thousands of fake dollar bills

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times Share:
The four detained men face up to ten years in prison if found guilty of smuggling fake money. Supplied

Police in Battambang have arrested three Thai men and a Cambodian for attempting to smuggle counterfeit notes worth more than $55,000 over the border from Thailand.   
The men were apprehended as they tried to take the fake $100 banknotes through Duong International Border Checkpoint in Kamrieng district.
The Thai suspects were named as Keat Thesak, 35, Samjit Kamphum, 34, and Ung Ath Siwatkon, 28. The Cambodian man was identified as Beth Sopha, 37.
District police officer First Lieutenant Khann Mao said the arrests were made on Saturday after police informants alerted officers to the crime. 
“We were informed that a group of smugglers were planning to traffic counterfeit money into the country.
“Our police arrested the smugglers and seized $55,300 in fake bills when they were crossing the border into Cambodia,” Lt Mao said, adding the fake banknotes had been packed in a brown plastic bag. 
He said police are preparing evidence for the provincial court and the men faced up to ten years in prison if convicted.  
In early 2015, two African men were arrested after police busted their counterfeiting operation and recovered $1.8 million in fake US banknotes while Battambang police arrested three other Thai men caught smuggling $7.2 million of counterfeit bills into the country from Thailand – the biggest bust in Cambodian history and the second-largest ever in Asia in 2014.
US authorities estimate the total value of worldwide counterfeit bills at $2.5 billion. 
Asia is one of the biggest markets for this fake currency, and China, Singapore and the Philippines have been among the top six countries for passing off counterfeit notes, according to the US Federal Reserve.

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