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Blitz on cash counterfeiters

POLICE have seized 684 million yuan (US$100.19 million) in counterfeit currency since January 20 in a nationwide operation targeting fake bills.

The 10-month campaign, codenamed "09 blitz," was launched at the beginning of the year and has helped to curb the fake note business, China's Ministry of Public Security told a news conference today.

A total of 702 suspects involved in producing fake bills have been arrested by the police in the campaign, dozens of them key characters who had been fleeing justice for more than 10 years, police said.

In the latest haul in Shanghai, a convicted criminal surnamed Wang set up a workshop in Minhang District with equipment he bought from local computer markets, according to His case was among the 10 biggest fake bill cases announced today at the news conference.

Shanghai police arrested two suspects in Wang's case, seizing more than 400,000 yuan in counterfeit money along with other items related to criminal activity.

Wang was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he was caught in March, his accomplice surnamed Yang was sentenced to 14 years.

This year's largest bogus bill case was in Guangdong, where sophisticated equipments and dyes were used. It involved a record 85.02 million yuan in fake notes.

Police uncovered 1,807 fake bill production cases in the investigation. A total of 684 million yuan was seized before it entered circulation. Twenty-four forgery rings had been broken up, triple last year's number.

Most of the seized fake bills were made on the mainland, said Zhang Tao, vice head of the Economic Crime Investigation Bureau of Ministry of Public Security, and south China's Guangdong Province has been the epicenter of most counterfeit bills.


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