A money laundering suspect was arrested by the Tshwane Police Tactical Unit (TMPD) with R3.5 million in counterfeit notes in Arcadia, Pretoria on Friday.
It all started when money laundering and counterfeiting officers were following a convoy of suspicious vehicles that included a red Range Rover, two Mercedes Benz and a Toyota Corolla.
Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba’s spokesperson said the unit stopped and searched a red Range Rover on Arcadia Street and found a counterfeit 100 rand note.
He said after further questioning, the driver led officers to a property in Bopape Station Street where more counterfeit money was kept.
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“A steel box full of fake money and chemicals used to clean the money were found in the premises. The amount of found counterfeit money exceeds 3.5 million rubles. Officers also discovered that the suspect’s name matched the suspect wanted for money laundering,” said Mahamba.
The suspect was then arrested for possession of counterfeit notes and will appear in court soon.
Under section 14 of the SARB Act, only the SARB Reserve Bank (SARB) is authorized to issue banknotes and coins in South Africa. Any reproduction of banknote images – even for artistic or advertising purposes – is strictly prohibited.
Counterfeit currency is imitation bank notes or coins produced without the legal sanction of the SARB. Counterfeiting and possession of currency are crimes.
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By law, counterfeit bills found in circulation cannot be exchanged for cash, as they have no value. The “Look, Feel and Tilt” method can be used to confirm the authenticity of a banknote.
The SARB, the police and commercial banks are cooperating in the fight against counterfeiting of banknotes and coins.
In August last year, Gauteng police arrested two women, aged 57 and 58, and two men, aged 36 and 48, who were found in possession of R2 million worth of counterfeit money in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
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Law enforcement officers carried out operational measures to obtain information about persons who keep fake money and plan to commit a crime.