Counterfeit currency syndicate in Indonesia busted after fake S$10,000 notes surface in Singapore casino

Indonesian couple allegedly attempted to exchange two counterfeit S$10,000 notes for casino chips, after receiving them in Batam

A screenshot from a video showcases Indonesian police officers presenting counterfeit banknotes, revealing the successful bust of a syndicate in November 2023.
A screenshot from a video showcases Indonesian police officers presenting counterfeit banknotes, revealing the successful bust of a syndicate in November 2023. (PHOTO: Facebook/Polda Kepri)

SINGAPORE — Singapore and Indonesia police have busted a counterfeit currency syndicate after the presentation of fake S$10,000 notes at a Singapore casino.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Thursday (1 February) that four Indonesian men were arrested in connection with this operation, following a joint investigation by Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Indonesian National Police.

SPF became alerted to the case on 21 September 2023, when an Indonesian couple tried to exchange a fake S$10,000 note for casino chips.

Casino's discovery leads to joint effort by CAD and Indonesian police

Upon being informed of the counterfeit nature of the note, the man presented another S$10,000 note for verification. The casino withheld both notes, subsequently handing them over to the CAD for investigation. The information regarding the counterfeit notes was also shared with the Indonesian police.

Investigations unveiled that the couple had travelled from Batam to Singapore on the same day and had received the two notes from a business associate in Batam as payment for a business transaction. The couple intended to use the notes for gambling at the casino, according to the police statement.

"As there was insufficient evidence to suggest that the couple were aware that the notes they were in possession of were counterfeit, the police, in consultation with the Attorney-General's Chambers, has taken no further action against the couple," it added.

In Indonesia, authorities conducted three raids in Riau and West Java provinces between 15 and 20 November. Three Indonesian men, aged 39 to 48, were arrested for suspected involvement in counterfeiting and distributing banknotes.

During these operations, a total of 390 pieces of S$10,000 banknotes, suspected to be fake, were seized. A fourth suspect, a 51-year-old Indonesian, was recently arrested by the Indonesian police, according to SPF.

Public reminded to stay vigilant in the face of counterfeit threats

David Chew, the director of CAD, emphasised the need for close collaboration with foreign law enforcement agencies to combat counterfeit currency syndicates.

The police also highlighted the potential for large losses to victims and undermining confidence in the currency due to counterfeit banknotes. It reminded the public to remain vigilant and examine notes that are not commonly available but remain in circulation as legal tender.

Detailed information about the security features of authentic Singapore currency can be accessed on the Monetary Authority of Singapore's website.

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