Websites still offering fake notes

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 January, 2009, 12:00am

Mainland websites offering high-quality fake banknotes were still operating yesterday despite regulators promising a crackdown before the Lunar New Year, when cash transactions typically peak for the year.

Several online sellers of the fake notes in Guangdong claim the notes' security threads and watermarks can cheat detectors, and are ideal for shopping or gambling.

The vendors said potential buyers could view the forged notes before purchasing, and many promised a full refund if clients could not offload their stocks.

Many said they had stopped supplying fake notes with serial numbers starting with either 'HD' or 'HB' because the public had been alerted to counterfeits with those numbers.

A fake-banknote distributor in Shenzhen said on his website that he only supplied 'authentic Taiwan-made forged notes with foreign technology'.

The vendor claimed to offer the latest forged notes and coins in various denominations, with 'genuine colour, touch and major anti-counterfeiting characteristics'.

But suppliers said the guarantee of quality did not extend to depositing the money in bank accounts because tellers had learned how to spot the hi-tech fakes.

'Surely we wouldn't sell fake banknotes to you if we could deposit them in bank accounts ourselves,' one unapologetic Guangzhou counterfeit-money wholesaler said.

He offered counterfeit 100 yuan (HK$113) notes at 15 yuan each and a 30 per cent discount for repeat customers.

'You can choose the face value you like, but the minimum order for each kind of banknote is a face value of 10,000 yuan. We recommend smaller denomination banknotes that people are less alert to and unlikely to examine with detectors each time,' he said.

All counterfeiters offered door-to-door deliveries after receiving payments from customers.

Guangdong is notorious for producing 90 per cent of the country's counterfeit notes, although the fake 100 yuan notes recently in circulation are believed to have been produced by a fraud syndicate in Taiwan.

Guangdong police say they have seized more than 1.7 billion yuan in counterfeit currency between 2005 and last year. Mainland bankers estimate that the seizures account for 80 per cent of the total of forged money seized in the country during this period.

Meanwhile, a Guangxi farmer was sentenced to 10 months in jail and fined 15,000 yuan on Tuesday for using 52 counterfeit 100 yuan notes he bought in Guangzhou.

Xinhua said the man bought 55 fake banknotes that all started with 'HD90' in early November. He had been jailed for six months in Dongguan in 2005 for concealing counterfeit notes.