Teenagers busted for counterfeit money scam

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Teenagers busted for counterfeit money scam

The Seongseo Police Precinct in Daegu yesterday busted a scam where four teenagers allegedly used a color printer to counterfeit money.

Two teenagers, including an 18-year-old boy surnamed Lee, are suspected of making 18 fake bills amounting to 820,000 won ($726) while the other two, including an 18-year-old boy identified by his surname Yoo, are accused of spending 300,000 won worth of them.

Out of the 18 phony bills, 16 were 50,000 won bills and two were 10,000 won notes.

The police yesterday took Lee into custody while booking the three others without detention.

The suspects used the counterfeit bills to buy packs of cigarettes at six convenience stores in Daegu’s Dalseo District and pocketed the change after first making the bundle of fake notes on June 9 at Lee’s house, according to the police.

The teenagers used a secondhand color printer they purchased for 40,000 won a few days ago.

“They dropped out of middle and high school and it seems that they tried to spend the money to entertain themselves,” said a police officer, who refused to be named because the investigation is ongoing.

“We are looking into whether they used counterfeit bills on other occasions,” the officer said.

The police confiscated the printer, a knife and a ruler to further investigate. It also seized silver-colored tape believed to be used to recreate the silver mark on genuine bills that is designed to prevent counterfeits.

The arrested Lee reportedly masterminded the scam after reading an Internet post detailing how to make fake bills.

Having quit high school, he testified that he wanted pocket money. He then asked three friends to join and assigned tasks for each of them.

A cashier from one of the convenience stores hit by the teens spotted a fake bill and reported it to the police, saying “The bill felt like a stiff piece of A4 paper.”

BY PARK EUN-JEE, KIM YOON-HO [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]
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