Duo jailed for 3 years each over fake $1,000 notes

SINGAPORE - Two men who were part of a scam to counterfeit money and pass it off as genuine were jailed on Monday for three years each.

Odd-job workers Adi Soffian Bakhtiar Effendi and Fauzi Mohammad admitted to the charges of abetting others in a conspiracy to counterfeit $24,000 and use them as real money.

The duo, both 22, were the last to be dealt with in relation to the scam, which took place in 2012.

A key member of the group, Abdul Adziz Asmon, 36, was jailed for six years and seven months last October for forging and using 24 fake $1,000 notes.

His accomplice Aimie Abdullah, 34, was jailed for 51/2 years. Two teenagers were given probation for their part in the crime.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Sng told the court last week that in 2011, Adi and Fauzi discussed the crime with Adziz, who was then an operations assistant with marine service agency Nautical Trade. Adziz's duties included collecting money for his employer and paying suppliers.

Adi suggested that they scan genuine currency notes and print copies before using them to replace the genuine money that Adziz collected for Nautical.

In 2011, Adi and Fauzi bought a printer-cum-scanner, A4 paper, clear transparencies, a paper cutter and a tray of eggs. They went with Aimie to a Geylang hotel to try to make a fake $1,000 bill.

DPP Sng said this involved spreading egg white on a piece of white paper and blowing it dry with a hair dryer. This was intended to enhance the texture of the paper to make it crisp. A real $1,000 note would be scanned and printed onto a coated sheet.

Adi took a photograph of the fake $1,000 note and showed it to Adziz later, assuring him that counterfeit money could be made.

Adziz agreed to the plan and the men got started on their bid to "mint" fake currency.

They did the counterfeiting at a Costa Sands Resort chalet in Pasir Ris as Adziz felt it was safer than hotels, which were sometimes raided.

In January 2012, Adziz mixed the 24 counterfeit $1,000 notes with six genuine ones from his employer and handed it to a worker of a supplier.

The supplier who received the money suspected that 24 of the notes were fake and returned them to Nautical.

A police report was made.

Adi, who has returned the full $24,000, and Fauzi could each have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined on each charge.

elena@sph.com.sg


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