CINCINNATI– In today’s economy a lot of items are bought and sold online, but hard currency is still used in day-to-day operations. When was the last time you took a quick glance at your money - a real hard look? Have you looked at the front and back? Have you looked for the security features? Just last year more than $100 million of counterfeit currency was exchanged.
In order to stop the spread of counterfeit currency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection work to stop shipments with fake cash. One shipment of counterfeit currency that will not make its destination was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at an Express Consignment Operations hub in Cincinnati on May 13. In total CBP seized $252,300.
The shipment arrived from Shenzhen, China, headed for Guthrie, Oklahoma. The parcel was selected for examination and an x-ray showed an image consistent with bundles of money. When the parcel was opened, officers found what was later confirmed as counterfeit currency. The currency was printed by what appeared to be a high end printer on regular paper and not washed/bleached currency. Additionally, the currency number was the same for every bill, and on the back of the bill there was foreign writing in the location where one of the security features would exist. There were 25 plastic bags of money, and each plastic bag had an average of 100 bills each - some had more. A total of 2,523 $100 bills were located within the bags for a total of $252,300.
"Our officers work hard 24-7 to protect America from numerous threats," said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. "Especially during this time of uncertainty, economic security is of vital importance to our nation. Our dedicated officers and our partnership with the Secret Service kept this counterfeit currency from entering into the U.S. economy."
Counterfeit money like this, described as Foreign Writing Notes, is a violation of federal law and is considered contraband. These Foreign Writing Notes have been seized and turned over to the United States Secret Service. Counterfeit money like this is sometimes classified as motion picture, foreign writing notes, and is a violation of federal law and the violator can be arrested.
“The counterfeit currency seized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency highlights our outstanding partnership,” said Glenn Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, Secret Service Oklahoma Field Office. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt criminal groups that target our citizens, businesses and the security of the United States financial system.”
“The Secret Service is proud to work with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency to combat the threat of counterfeit currency and to safeguard the U.S. financial infrastructure,” said Yvonne Dicristoforo, Special Agent in Charge, Secret Service Cincinnati Field Office.” The Secret Service and our law enforcement partners continue to adapt to maintain our level of success in stopping criminal acts and actors.”
According to the Secret Service, “Foreign Writing” notes have been recorded as successfully passed in every major city in the U.S. and at both small and large retailers. Special Agents and Investigative Analysts from around the country will continue to work closely with state and local law enforcement partners to minimize risks by informing the public and apprehending those responsible for passing counterfeit. Both consumers and retailers can protect themselves from inadvertently receiving a Motion Picture or Foreign Writing notes by quickly glancing at the note to ensure it does not read “For Motion Picture Use Only” or display bright pink Chinese characters.