2003 Version Counterfeit $100 Bills Detected
Seventeen elaborately forged $100 notes with 2003 printings have been discovered in the country, the nation’s spy agency said Thursday.
According to the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the so-called "super notes" were found when a Korean traveler, who visited Indonesia in late May, exchanged his U.S. currency recently at a local bank after returning home.
The bills were found to have almost the same defects as 1,400 counterfeit $100 bills with 2001 printings found in April, the NIS said.
On April 12, police caught four people who attempted to circulate the largest-ever amount of forged U.S. notes after smuggling them in from China.
The newly found bills were forged with such sophistication that it’s hard even for experts and investigators to distinguish them from genuine notes without up-to-date testing devices.
The intelligence agency added that these forged notes have been widely circulated in China and Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines.
The agency recommended the public to have their $100 bills checked with the latest forgery detectors or by experts. Travelers are also advised to be extra careful when they exchange money at a small money exchange institute overseas.
The NIS also plans to inform bank officials of the characteristics of recent forgeries and hand out booklets containing related information.
According to the Bank of Korea, a total of 189 counterfeit $100 bills were discovered in the country in 2001. The number surged to 286 in 2002, 544 in 2003 and 667 in 2004.
Meanwhile, 2,508 counterfeit 5,000-won ($5) banknotes were found in the first quarter of the year, with 619 units of fake 10,000-won bills, the central bank said.