3 teenagers arrested for counterfeiting

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3 teenagers arrested for counterfeiting

Three teenagers who produced and used counterfeit bills to buy goods from convenience stores were arrested by police Saturday.

The three suspects used counterfeit 50,000 won ($43) notes to buy low-priced items like packs of gum or cigarettes to receive real cash as change on at least 40 different occasions from June 30 to July 4, according to police.

The trio allegedly produced 51 fake notes using laser printers and scanners. Their methods were unsophisticated and so the counterfeit currency did not include basic security features like hidden watermark images found in real bills. The serial number used was identical across all the counterfeit bills.

Police said they identified the suspects using CCTV clips from the targeted convenience stores in and around Seoul and tracked their motorcycle using the same method.

They will now seek warrants to continue the detention of Park, the one suspect identified by surname, and the two other teenagers on charges of making and circulating counterfeit currency.

The number of reported counterfeit currency crimes has climbed in recent years, reaching 4,392 in 2009, a significant jump from the average 300 per year reported in the early 2000s.

By Kang Jin-kyu [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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