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Police warn public of fake S$100 and S$50 portrait series notes

The Independent logo The Independent 12/6/2019 Anna Maria Romero
a close up of text on a white background © YouTube screengrab/ Singapore Currency

Singapore — The country’s police force issued a warning on June 11, Tuesday, concerning counterfeit S$50 and S$100 Singapore currency notes that have been used in convenience stores, restaurants, and retail outlets from March through May of this year.

These notes are counterfeits of the portrait series, the fourth set of currency notes to be launched in the country, which features Yusof Ishak, the first President of Singapore.

The counterfeit S$100 bills carry the serial number 3AX412083.

For the counterfeit S$50 bills, there are eight serial numbers in all: 0FF875629, 3DL273922, 4DZ985604, 5HS436415, 5LV797440, 5LP297324, 5CK878136 and 5JH230011

The police announced that the fake bills do not have a security thread that runs down the length of the note, nor do they have a watermark, which can be seen when the bill is held against the light. Police believe that these bills are photocopies of actual currency notes.

“These counterfeit notes, which are believed to be photocopied reproductions, lack security features such as (a) watermark (an image that can be seen when held up to the light) and security thread (thread that is interwoven in the paper running vertically down) found on genuine notes.”

Certain counterfeit bills have a simulated kinegram, a reflective foil in the shape of an octagon, that looks dissimilar to real bills, in that the kinegram images, which should move as the note moves, stay immobile on the fake bills.

According to the police advisory, “the image on the kinegram of a genuine note should shift when the note is tilted but the simulated kinegram on the counterfeit note does not have this characteristic.

The surface of the counterfeit note also lacks the embossed feel present on genuine notes.”

Police have made three arrests so far. They have charged three men between the ages of 25 and 29 between May 25 and June 4.

Residents of Singapore who believe that they are in possession of counterfeit bills from transactions they’ve had in the last two months are encouraged to file police reports at the nearest police station in their neighbourhood. They should also delay the individual who gave them the fake bill until the police are called in.

The police are asking the public to pay attention to details concerning the appearance of people who are dealing in counterfeit bills, which include gender, race, age, height, built, clothing, tattoos (if any), as well as the language spoken by the person, and if he or she used a vehicle, to take note of the vehicle’s registration number.

If anyone feels that they have a counterfeit bill in their possession, they are advised to keep them covered, such as placing them in an envelope so that there is no danger of further tampering when these notes are given to the police.

If a person is found guilty of using fake bills, he or she could be made to pay a fine and be jailed for as long as 20 years, while people who have counterfeit bills in their possession could go to jail for as long as 15 years.

The police are asking the public to call their hotline at 1800-255-0000 for any information on counterfeit bills or provide this information online at http://www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

All information will be kept strictly confidential./ TISG

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