Man arrested with P24,500 worth of fake bills in Cebu City

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 20,2021 - 03:58 PM

A 36-year-old man was arrested with more than P20,000 worth of fake bills in an entrapment operation around 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.| Pegeen Maisie Sararaña

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7) arrested on Tuesday evening a 36-year-old man who allegedly manufactures counterfeit money in an entrapment operation in Barangay Basak-San Nicolas in Cebu City.  

Police Lieutenant Colonel Hector Amancia, deputy chief of CIDG-7, identified the suspect as Joseph Salas, 36 who has been allegedly engaged in the illegal activity for quite a while now.

Salas, for his part, told reporters that he learned to produce counterfeit bills since he once worked in a printing shop. 

Amancia added that this was not the first time that Salas was caught engaging in this illicit act as he reminded the public to be wary and constantly check the bills in their possession.

Amancia disclosed that personnel from the Mandaue City Field Unit of CIDG-7 received information regarding the alleged production of fake bills. It took them around four months of monitoring before they confirmed the reports. 

Upon validation, they confirmed Salas’ involvement in “counterfeiting” and “falsifying” Philippine currency. The CIDG-7 MCFU then coordinated with Agent Dickenson Gamalo of the Payments and Currency Investigation Group of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and conducted an entrapment operation. 

Operatives seized a total of P24,500 worth of fake Philippine currency of different denominations from Salas.

Amancia said that for every ten thousand worth of fake money that Salas produces, the suspect gets paid P1,000 from random clients. 

Salas, however, denied this saying he only accepts any amount given to him. 

Amancia said that they are still conducting further investigation to identify the possible cohorts of Salas.

“We are doing this because this is part of our future deterence because we don’t want nga mag circulate ang fake nga kwarta sa atoang market nga mahimo og magamit as legal which in fact fake mani siya. At the same time, ato sad ning gihimo to prevent nga magamit sa local and national elections kay di man nato na madiscount,” Amancia said. 

Amancia said fake money bills have been a big problem, especially during past elections hence they are intensifying their campaign against this illegal trade with next year’s elections just around the corner.

Amancia further said that based on their records, commercial printers were used in producing fake money bills although he clarified that Salas only produces fake bills inside his house.  

 The CIDG-7 is already preparing to file formal complaints against the suspect for violating Article 168 in relation to Article 166 of the Revised Penal Code or the Illegal Possession of False Treasury or Banknotes.

The suspect is currently detained at the holding facility of CIDG-7.

Meanwhile, Agent Gamalo of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said that the public can determine the genuineness of the Philippine money bills through the feel-look-tilt methods

“Sa feel method natin, we just have to feel the paper because genuine bills are ‘rough to the touch’ because of the material used. And yung embossed prints natin, kung mapapansin natin sa Republika ng Pilipinas, may embossed prints pati din yung numeral value,” Gamalo said. 

“Sa look method naman, sa embossed prints, we also have watermaks, security fibers, na very visible. Yung see-through marks ng banknotes natin, makikita natin sya especially if it’s viewed against the light,” Gamalo added.

“Sa tilt method, medyo ititilt mo yung banknote mo, ang optically variable patch and optically variable inch, makikita natin ang changing ng colors na hindi natin makikita sa fake,” he further said. 

Gamalo urges the public to try to scrutinize the banknotes that they possess using the three methods. And to seek the help of experts should they have suspicions about their banknotes’ authenticity.    /rcg

READ: Police urged: Be on the lookout for fake bills

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TAGS: BSP, CCPO, Cebu City

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