BSP, PNP ramp up campaign vs counterfeiters
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), working with the Philippine National Police, is stepping up the campaign against counterfeit money, whether Philippine or foreign currency.
In their latest move, the BSP and PNP arrested a Cameroonian national, who was caught in the act of selling counterfeit US dollar banknotes during an entrapment operation conducted in Taguig City in July.
The joint group of the Quezon City Police Anti-Cybercrime Team and the BSP’s Payments and Currency Investigation Group seized from suspect Fonki Gregory Abueh, who lives in Makati City, 14 pieces of fake $100 bills.
Abueh was charged before the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office with illegal possession and use of false treasury or banknotes and other instruments of credit under the Revised Penal Code.
The BSP reiterated its advice to the public to remain vigilant in receiving and handling bank notes, whether these are received through personal transactions or from automated teller machines.
Last January, the BSP and the National Bureau of Investigation confiscated a total of 161 counterfeit Philippine currency banknotes and 78 fake foreign banknotes in separate operations in Pampanga and Tarlac.
Counterfeiters of Philippine currency may be subject to imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of up to P2 million.
The central bank continues to push for a new law that prescribes stiffer penalties on the counterfeiting of banknotes.
According to the BSP, it has so far enjoyed a 98-percent conviction rate of fake money cases on which the courts have ruled already.
From 2010 to 2021, the BSP carried out 110 law enforcement operations that resulted in the arrest of 179 suspects.
These operations also led to the confiscation of more than 12,400 pieces of counterfeit Philippine banknotes with a notional value of more than P7.8 million, and more than 14,300 pieces of counterfeit US dollar banknotes with a notional value exceeding $492.5 million.
Such enforcement operations have led to the filing of 164 criminal cases in court, with 65 already concluded.
Of the 65 cases, 64 resulted in the conviction of the accused as charged. The other case was dismissed due to the death of the accused.
According to the intergovernmental agency International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), the circulation of counterfeit currency—if left unchecked—can undermine national economies, weaken financial institutions and jeopardize people’s livelihoods.
Counterfeiting currency “fuels the underground economy and finances the activities of organized criminal networks and terrorists,” the Interpol said.
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