Thai police seized counterfeit US banknotes, with a face value of about 34 million baht, and arrested two suspects in Nonthaburi, in a joint operation carried out by police from the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) and the US secret service attached to the US Embassy in Bangkok.
The fake US dollars had been offered for sale online to anyone. TCSD police contacted the seller to purchase a substantial amount of counterfeit US currency, to be delivered in a rendezvous at a condominium in Muang Thong Thani yesterday.
TCSD police, disguised as motorcycle taxi drivers, were posted at and near the condominium, to wait for the person who was to deliver the fake money to the buyer.
A middle-aged woman showed up at the condominium, holding a black cotton bag. Then, the undercover police approached her to search the bag, which was found to contain 2,000 one hundred US dollar bills.
During questioning, the woman admitted that she had received the bag from a man, identified only as “Panudet”, who asked her to deliver it to a man at the condominium.
Police later arrested Panudet at a shopping mall in Nonthaburi, with 7,000 similar bills in his possession.
TCSD police said that a US Embassy official admitted that the fake dollar bills were good quality forgeries and that they have been widely distributed in Thailand and neighbouring countries.
Counterfeiting currencies is considered as a serious crime and is subject to 10-20 years in prison on conviction.