The suspect identified as Richard Uy, a resident of the area, was arrested after he turned over several pieces of fake P1,000 and P500 bills to an NBI-7 agent who posed as a buyer.
The fake dollar bills are estimated at P150,000 while the peso bills amounted to P250,000.
Charges of forgery and illegal possession of bank and treasury notes will be filed against Uy in the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office today.
NBI-7 agent Bernard dela Cruz said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will step in to investigate the proliferation of fake money.
“Mr. Uy is part of a syndicate. He is supplying dollars to Malaysia and Mindanao. He is also responsible for proliferating money outside the University of the Visayas in the downtown area of Cebu City,” dela Cruz said yesterday.
The NBI-7 agents also confiscated fake official receipts, one computer monitor, one printer, one scanner and raw materials for using fake money like onion skin paper and coupon bond paper.
“Basically, sources said the fake money will be used in time for the Christmas season. There were also orders from Mindanao. I don’t know how it would be used. (But) it’s possible that it will be used for the elections,” dela Cruz said.
Dela Cruz said an informant identified Uy as a supplier of fake bills and brought along two pieces of fake P1,000 bills as proof.
Dela Cruz found out that a fake P1,000 bill is sold at P200 each while a fake P500 is sold at P150 each. The NBI-7 conducted a test buy against Uy to verify the allegations.
Dela Cruz ordered from Uy 100 pieces of P1,000 bills and 100 pieces of P500.
Last Sunday, Uy purportedly asked for a down payment for the paper and ink. Dela Cruz sent P2,000 by money transfer to Uy.
Dela Cruz said Uy told him that the fake money bills will be finished yesterday.
The NBI-7 applied for a search warrant before Regional Trial Court Judge Alexander Acosta of Branch 9.
When dela Cruz and Uy met at a meat shop, Uy demanded for the P6,000 from Dela Cruz.
The NBI-7 undercover agent gave the money and got 90 pieces of counterfeit P500. The other NBI-7 agents came and arrested Uy.
The NBI-7 agents headed to Uy’s home where other fake money bills and equipments were recovered.
They confiscated P1,000 which are still to be cut out. Only the P500 bills were finished. Uy is presently detained at the NBI-7 mini-cell.
“It’s hard to determine whether or not a money bill is genuine, especially if you do not have a technical know-how. If you’re not an expert, you will have a hard time,” dela Cruz said.
He said one has to put the bill on water. If the two papers which are attached to each other are separated, then the money is fake.
A watermark bearing the image of the portrait on the bill is even counterfeited, Dela Cruz said.
He said most of those who fell victim to fake money are the poor who simply get money from stalls.
“If you suspect that you have fake money, immediately report it to the police,” he said.
He said fake money bills can be discounted if these are purchased wholesale. /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter