Counterfeit money ‘factory’ in Central Java raided

Counterfeit money ‘factory’ in Central Java raided
Funny money: Denpasar Police chief Sr. Comr. Djoko Hari Utomo (right) shows fake banknotes to the media in the Denpasar Police office, Bali, on Wednesday. The police arrested a syndicate of money counterfeiters in Semarang, Central Java, which had produced at least Rp 9 billion (US$751,905) since starting operations in 2012

Denpasar Police declared Wednesday that they had uncovered a counterfeit money network and had raided the place being used as the "factory" in Semarang, Central Java.

Three people were arrested for alleged involvement in the business.

The suspects are Agustinus Handoyo, 50, the owner of the counterfeit money factory in Semarang, and two dealers, Diana Wahyuni, 40, and Abdul Rohman, 45. The police also seized 310 fake Rp 100,000 notes worth a total Rp 31 million (US$2,594) that were ready to be circulated.

The police also seized unfinished counterfeit money and equipment, including computers, printers and ink, from the factory in Semarang.

"From the investigation, we found that the counterfeit money factory had been in operation since 2012 and had produced counterfeit notes worth more than Rp 9 billion," Denpasar Police chief Sr. Comr. Djoko Hari Utomo told a press conference on Wednesday.

Djoko said information had been received by the police that a woman was to receive a package from a courier company in Denpasar. On Sept. 1, the Denpasar Police nabbed Diana as she picked up a mail package containing 210 counterfeit Rp 100,000 notes.

The police pursued the sender of the package, Handoyo, in Semarang.

On Sept. 7, police caught Handoyo at Ahmad Yani Airport in Semarang, Central Java. After the arrest, the police raided his home in Banyumanik, Semarang, where they found equipment to produce counterfeit money, as well as piles of unfinished notes.

Handoyo is a recidivist, having been arrested in 2006 by the Banyumas Police in Central Java, also for producing counterfeit money.

In a further investigation, the police caught Rohman, who was allegedly dealing in the counterfeit money produced by Handoyo, in Grobogan, Central Java. They seized 100 counterfeit Rp 100,000 notes worth Rp 10 million from him.

The fake money, Djoko said, had been circulated in many provinces across Indonesia, including Bali, East Java and Central Java.

Djoko said that the police would continue to investigate to uncover any other suspects involved in the counterfeiting.

Bali Police spokesperson Hery Wiyanto urged everyone to be aware that fake money could be circulating in traditional markets and other places. "The fake money is almost perfect. People should be vigilant about the circulation of fake money. Always check the money you receive," Hery said.

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