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Counterfeit money now on open sale in HCM City   2009-04-22 - VietNamNet/VNE

‘Banknotes’ with face values of VND500,000, VND100,000 and VND20,000 made of hard cotton paper or plastic are being sold everywhere in HCM City as toys for children.


Since the beginning of April 2009, several markets in HCM City, including Binh Tay in district 5, Xom Cui in district 8 and Thiec market in district 11, have been selling counterfeit VND as toys for children. Most toy shops on Tran Binh and Pham Van Khoe streets near Binh Tay Market have also been selling this kind of counterfeit money.


The owner of a toy shop on Pham Van Khoe street revealed that the ‘money’ has been selling very well.


The ‘banknotes’ are made of two kinds of materials, hard cotton paper or plastic. The ‘banknotes’ made of cotton paper are small, like matchboxes, and have the face values of VND5,000, VND10,000, VND100,000 and VND200,000.


In fact, these are copies of real banknotes which have been made by scanning and printing on A3 or A0 size paper or plastic pieces. At some shops, they display ‘banknotes’ with the face value of VND100,000 that are the same size as the real VND100,000 banknote.


At Binh Tay Market, ‘banknotes’ printed on 43x65 cm paper have the wholesale price of VND7,000-8,000/sheet. Besides counterfeit Vietnamese dong, the shops also sell counterfeit euro and pounds.


Just within several minutes, three or four people were seen coming into a toy shop on Tran Binh street to purchase several sheets of ‘banknotes’ to retail at smaller shops near primary schools. One of the people, a woman, said that the ‘banknotes’ are selling very well because children like using the ‘money’ to ‘gamble’ or play cards.


Most of the shop owners here say that they do not think the sale of the toy-money is illegal, and that they simple sell the ‘banknotes’ as a type of toy.


When asked about the origin of the counterfeit money, the shop owners said that they did not know where it came from. “Someone brought the ‘money’ to us, and we thought we would try it out. As sales have been going well, we have ordered more,” a petty merchant at Binh Tay market said.


Ho Huu Hanh, Director of the HCM City branch of the State Bank of Vietnam, said he was very surprised when hearing from VN Express’ reporters about the sale of the counterfeit money.


Hanh affirmed that the production and sale of the toy-money which looks like real money is a violation of the law.


It could happen that someone will use the counterfeit money to cheat old people or children as it will be difficult to spot the counterfeit money if purchase and sale transactions are made at night.


Hanh said that the HCM City Branch of the State Bank of Vietnam had reported the case to the police.


“It is unacceptable that the counterfeit banknotes have the words ‘The State Bank of Vietnam’ on them,” Hanh added.


On April 22, the Money and Vault Division of the HCM City Branch of the State Bank of Vietnam made an inspection tour of the toy shops, discovering a shop that sold this kind of counterfeit money in Thiet market in district 11. Buyers could purchase the ‘money’ in big volumes at VND15,000/A2 size sheet. The noteworthy thing is that the colour of the counterfeit banknotes is nearly the same as real money.


Le Xuan Dai, Deputy Head of the HCM City Market Control Agency, said that it is illegal to trade counterfeit money. Dai said that the central bank needs to set up clear regulations about the issue.


The police are investigating the case.

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