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April 15, 2010

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Funny money threat on rise: cops

SHANGHAI is facing an increasing threat from counterfeit money, with so many visitors coming for the World Expo, local police warn.

Local banks have confiscated counterfeit money totaling 2.25 million yuan (US$330,000).

That includes about 50,000 yuan in January, 70,000 yuan in February and 90,000 yuan in March.

The total has dropped from 6.15 million yuan last year, thanks to stronger vigilance from police.

But the soaring amount in the past three months shows an increasing flow of counterfeit cash, police said.

"Most of the counterfeit money was manufactured in the country's southern provinces, and Shanghai has been playing a role as the trading point of the illegal business," said Tang Xiliang, a police official.

On April 5, the police detained a gang with four suspects involved in the city's biggest counterfeit money case since 2009, confiscating 4.86 million yuan in counterfeit money, police said.

Police officials advise foreign visitors who are coming to the city for the Expo to pay by credit card or to shop at big department stores.

Money detectors can be useful, police said, because most of the counterfeit money, however indistinguishable in appearance, still fails to pass the detectors.


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