SEOUL, April 13 (Korea Bizwire) – A series of cases of counterfeit money operations straight out of the movies have recently been reported to law enforcement agencies in South Korea, as clever individuals find methods of forging bank notes using color copy machines and laser printers without proper counterfeit deterrence systems.
Counterfeit currency operations are being reported on a regular basis, according to the National Police Agency yesterday.
Figures from the police agency show there were 72 cases of currency counterfeiting last year alone.
Last October, a 22-year-old man named Park was arrested after using 22 of the 50 50,000 won bank notes he counterfeited at a number of supermarkets and accommodations establishments in the city of Jeonju.
Park used a color copy machine at a mobile phone store to copy and print both sides of a 50,000 won banknote, and cut the copies to the original size or the currency.
Park’s arrest was made after the owner of one of the supermarkets he visited reported him the police after noticing that the money was counterfeit.
Last summer, three high school students in Seoul were arrested after using a color copy machine at a motel to counterfeit 150 50,000 won banknotes and spending around one third of them.
The three students admitted under questioning that their crime was motivated by movies they watched with scenes of money counterfeiting.
In Ulsan, two elementary school students were found to have used a forged 10,000 won bank note made using a printer to buy snacks at a convenience store.
As the craft of counterfeiting money has become easy enough for elementary school students to attempt, calls for measures to close loopholes in counterfeiting deterrence systems (CDS) are growing in South Korea.
While printers from major electronics companies come equipped with a CDS, many other printers on the market are thought to lack features that prohibit people from using them to forge banknotes.
“It’s unrealistic to equip every printer with a CDS since there are so many printer makers and models,” an official from the Bank of Korea said.
With more counterfeit money being reported, the Bank of Korea official urged business owners to familiarize themselves with ways to spot fake banknotes to protect themselves from counterfeit money.