A 41-year-old French-Cambodian national was arrested on Tuesday after paying for a taxi fare using counterfeit currency, police said yesterday.
Sok Sopheak, a Meanchey district police officer, identified the suspect as Prum Ratha, who was arrested in Chak Angre Loeu commune.
He said that on Tuesday at about 10.30am, Mr Ratha got a ride from taxi driver Huoth Danith, 25, from Chaom Chao commune to the riverside in Daun Penh district.
After visiting the riverside, he took the taxi to meet his friend in Chak Angre Loeu commune in Meanchey district.
After arriving at the destination in Chak Angre Loeu commune, the suspect paid a fare of about $22.50.
“He gave $15 to the taxi driver. The taxi driver refused the money because he knew that the money was counterfeit,” Mr Sopheak said. “The taxi driver told him to pay in Khmer currency, but he did not have any Khmer money.”
He added that the taxi driver reported him to local police. The suspect was then arrested and police seized $15 in counterfeit bills.
Another Meanchey district police officer said yesterday that during his interrogation at the police station, the suspect admitted his mistake.
“He said that the reason why he paid with fake money was because he ran out of real money,” he said. “He aimed to borrow money from his friend to pay for the taxi fee but was instead brought by the driver to the police.”
He added that the suspect was accused of circulating counterfeit currency and faces punishment of up to five years in prison if convicted.
The suspect remains detained at the district police station and will be sent to the municipal court for questioning today.