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Interpol alert over fake Fiji currency

By Ashwant Dwivedi

SUVA: Fiji Islands police have alerted Interpol after the discovery of fake Fijian currency in circulation, reports Prabhaat News.

Police Commissioner Isikia Savua believes that the printing of local Fijian counterfeit bills could be a job done locally.

In an interview with Prabhaat, Savua said that his Police Intelligence Unit was carrying out an idepth investigation involving the circulation of the fake bills in Fiji.

"We are very much concerned," Mr Savua said.

He also confirmed that few Fiji currency bills seized by police in past were presented and accepted by the banks, not even being detected by the tellers.

It was unclear if Fiji banks had machines available to detect fake Fijian currency.

Fiji in the past had been one of the victims of fake US currency.

Savua called on people to be careful when accepting money.

"We have alreaday alerted all the banks in Fiji," Savua said.

He said that Interpol had also been alerted.

In a recent incident, a local bank found a fake Fijian bill which the teller told police was presented to by a person seeking foreign currency.

According to a confidential Reserve Bank of Fiji report obtained by Prabhaat News, the printing of the notes found in Fiji could be jobs done using colour photo copy machines.

The report was prepared by the Security and Print division of London and

presented in-confidence to the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

The five-page report also gave in-depth details of how notes which were found in Fiji in past could have been produced.

A senior police official said that last year they had seized a colour photocopying machine from a Nadi business house.

"We suspected that that could have been one of the machines which is being used for printing of the fake currency," the senior officer said.

Police also believe that some foreigners entering the country as tourists are also involved in the circulation of the fake currency.

A United States Government secret service agent has also visited Fiji to

provide assistance to local police in their investigation.

"We appeal to the people to contact the nearest police station if they have any details on the circulation of the counterfeit notes," Savua said.

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