Sat, 22 Jan 2000

Official arrested over fake bills

BOGOR (JP): An official of Bogor District Prosecutor's Office and two of his associates were arrested by local police for allegedly distributing fake Taiwan dollar bills in Jakarta.

Bogor Police chief of detectives Capt. Budi Prasetyo only identified the three as Up, Muk and Uj.

"The three were arrested last week while making transactions in the downtown Kota area in West Jakarta," Budi said, adding that Up stole 1,000 fake Taiwan dollar bills (each worth NT$1,000) from the Prosecutor's office evidence room and gave them to Muk and Uj to be distributed.

"They haven't got a chance of selling the bills as police nabbed the group," he said.

Last October, the Bogor District Court sentenced a Taiwan national and five local accomplices for counterfeiting Taiwan dollars. Wang A Sung and Sizy Angelina were sentenced to eight months imprisonment each and a seven month jail term each for Ujang, Deni, Tediyanto and Dedi.

Budi also warned people to be on alert for such fraud as counterfeit Rp 50,000 bills had also been circulating in the market.

Recently, a 68-year-old woman named Leni Hartini, a resident of Central Jakarta, became a victim of fraud when she gave a total of Rp 124 million to two men in exchange for their fake 20,000 Bolivian pesos. The two men said that they badly needed rupiah notes and were willing to offer a "higher" exchange rate.

Similar tricks using Bolivian pesos were reported last year to police in towns and cities across the country.

It remains unclear whether the scam artists use hypnotism in their operations. (24/edt)