x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Abu Dhabi police busts fake currency gang

Acting on a tip-off, police in the capital busts a gang who were circulating counterfeit US dollars in the UAE.

Acting on a tip-off, Abu Dhabi police have busted a gang for circulating counterfeit US dollars in the UAE market.

The arrested men are the businessmen KY, 40, AA, 39, and AI, 36. Their nationalities were not disclosed.

The three suspects allegedly named the operation "Vitamin C" and were trying to sell US$250,000 for Dh80,000. (At proper exchange rates, that amount of US money is worth Dh918,237.)

Police said the three men removed a special United Nations seal that earmarked the currency for aid to poor currencies. The men supposedly used vitamin C to erase the seal. Police said the suspects admitted flooding the market with fake dollars.

According to a forensic report, the fake currency was produced by colour scanning.

Police said the gang was also looking for customers to buy the counterfeit currency on the black market.

Col Dr Rashid Mohammed Borasheed, director of the department of criminal investigation at Abu Dhabi Police, said the organised-crime department formed a team to track down the gang.

A sting was set up. A police officer acted as a businessman interested in buying dollars. A meeting time and place were arranged to discuss logistics.

When the men brought the currency bag to exchange for dirhams, a police team raided the site and arrested them.

Police also seized equipment that they said had been used in the currency forgery. Abu Dhabi police cautioned residents not to indulge in such crimes and urged cooperation to stop criminal activity.

anwar@thenational.ae