In a joint investigation conducted by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), and the Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia Daerah Kepulauan Riau (Polda Kepri) of the Indonesia National Police (INP), one transnational counterfeit currency syndicate allegedly involved in counterfeiting, distributing and trafficking of counterfeit currency banknotes, was crippled. Four Indonesian men, aged 39 to 51, were arrested by the Polda Kepri, INP, in a raid conducted in the Riau Province, Indonesia.
On 21 September 2023, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) was alerted to a case of a counterfeit SGD$10,000 note presented at a casino in Singapore, where an Indonesian couple had allegedly attempted to exchange one SGD$10,000 note for casino chips. When the couple was told that the note was a counterfeit, the man produced another SGD$10,000 note for verification. The two SGD$10,000 notes were withheld by the casino and handed over to CAD for investigations.
Investigations revealed that the couple had travelled from Batam, Indonesia to Singapore on the same day and that the two notes were received from their business associate in Batam as payment for a business transaction and they wanted to use the notes at the casino for gambling. CAD thus shared the information on the counterfeit banknotes with INP for investigations.
Between 15 November 2023 to 20 November 2023, officers from Polda Kepri, INP conducted three separate raids in Indonesia at Riau Province and West Java Province, leading to the arrest of three Indonesian men, aged 39 to 48, for their suspected involvement in counterfeiting and distribution of counterfeit banknotes. A total of 390 pieces of Singapore banknotes of S$10,000 denomination suspected to be counterfeit were seized. Through follow-up investigations, Polda Kepri, INP identified and arrested the fourth 51-year-old Indonesian man recently.
As there was insufficient evidence to suggest that the couple were aware that the notes they were in possession of were counterfeit, the Police, in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, has taken no further action against the couple.
Director CAD, Mr David Chew said, “Combatting counterfeit currency syndicates requires close collaboration with foreign law enforcement agencies. The SPF had worked closely with the Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia Daerah Kepulauan Riau (Polda Kepri) of the Indonesia National Police on the case. The close collaboration between agencies led to the crippling of the currency counterfeiting syndicate based in Indonesia. I would like to thank the Head of Provincial Police, Inspector General Yan Fitri Halimansyah of the Riau Islands Region, NCB Jakarta, Indonesia and all the officers involved in this operation for their strong support and commitment to fight crime with the SPF.”
Counterfeit banknotes can potentially cause large losses to victims and undermine the confidence in our currency. Members of the public are reminded to remain vigilant and to examine any notes which are not commonly available but remain in circulation as legal tender. Information on the security features of genuine Singapore currency is available on the MAS website at www.mas.gov.sg/currency/Identifying-Genuine-Currency. If you suspect that you have received a counterfeit note, you should:
- Call the Police at ‘999’ immediately;
- Note the description of the person(s) who presented the counterfeit note, including gender, race, age, height, built, clothing, tattoo and language/dialect spoken;
- Note the description of the vehicle used, if any, including its registration number; and
- Limit the handling of the suspected counterfeit note and place it in a protective covering, such as an envelope, to prevent further tampering. Hand it over to the Police as soon as possible.
If you have any information relating to such crimes or if you are in doubt, please call the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. All information will be kept strictly confidential. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial ‘999’.