Taiwan gang recommended spending counterfeit dollars in Southeast Asia

US$11 million found, printing press still missing: CIB

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US$11 million, all counterfeited.

US$11 million, all counterfeited. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Five men arrested in Taipei with US$11 million (NT$335 million) in counterfeit money had recommended the cash be distributed in Southeast Asia, reports said Friday (Dec. 6).

The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) found the stash in denominations of US$100 bills in the homes of the suspects, CNA reported. Reports of the scam had surfaced in March, but the CIB had to gather intelligence for several months before focusing on a man surnamed Liao (廖), who had experience in the printing business.

While the officers have found the counterfeit cash and certain printing materials, the printing press itself has not yet been located, according to CNA.

Liao sold each US$100 (NT$3,000) note for between NT$350 and NT$450, telling his customers they could spend the money at casinos and hotels in Southeast Asia. Investigators are looking into a connection with a case from 2016, when a man tried to change US$2 million of counterfeit money at a bank.

Meanwhile, Liao insisted that he is innocent, saying he had been working on behalf of “a friend in China,” the CIB said.