Taipei, Authorities in Taiwan have seized thousands of forged Japanese yen banknotes and arrested a woman in New Taipei on suspicion of smuggling the notes into the country, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office said Monday.
The 22,879 forged banknotes, each in the denomination of 10,000 yen, were found at the home of a woman in Yingge District, New Taipei, on April 2 by a team of law enforcement officers, who had obtained a warrant to search the premises, the prosecutors' office said in a statement.
The banknotes, which totaled 228.79 million yen (US$2.06 million), were forgeries of the 10,000-yen Prince Shotoku-edition note that was released between Dec. 1, 1958 and Jan. 4, 1986, according to the statement. The search was carried out by Taipei prosecutors, police, and officers of the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) and Customs after the CGA received a tip-off from Japanese police in August 2017 that Taiwanese nationals were smuggling forged banknotes into Japan, the office said.
Based on the tip-off, authorities in Taiwan launched an investigation that led them to the woman in New Taipei, who is suspected of smuggling 50,000 forged 10,000-yen notes into Taiwan from China on Sept. 21, 2012, the prosecutors' office said.
The suspect has since sold half of the notes and had hidden the balance at her residence, the office said, adding that further investigations into the case are being carried out.
She will be charged for violating the laws governing the prevention of smuggling and the collection and use of forged marketable securities, the office said.
According to the CGA, the suspect, reportedly in her 60s, had smuggled forged banknotes from China to Taiwan several times over the past years and sold them to brokers, who then transferred them to other Asian countries.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel