Undercover police officers posed as buyers and met the gang members and told them they wanted to buy the fake currency. Image Credit: Ajman Police

Ajman: In the largest haul of fake bills in Ajman, the police’s Criminal Investigation Department have foiled an Arab-Canadian gang’s attempt to distribute counterfeit money amounting to $20 million (Dh73.4 million).

Acting on a tip-off, the police arrested a gang of three — two Arabs and a Canadian — and seized fake $100 bills worth $20 million from their possession, the police said on Wednesday.

Police said the gang was busted in a well-planned undercover operation.

An undercover officer met the gang members and told them that he would buy the fake bills if they were ready to give them for Dh8 million, Colonel Abdullah Saif Al Matroushi, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, said.

When the gang of three came in with the money, they were caught.
The suspects confessed to their crime and the case has been referred to the Public Prosecution.

He said the UAE Central Bank has a special unit to detect fake currencies but banks must do more to raise awareness among clients about how to detect such bills.

A senior Sharjah Police official, meanwhile, urged the public to stay vigilant about counterfeit currency. Several instances of confiscation of counterfeit currencies have been reported over the last few years.

Colonel Ebrahim Al Ajil, director of Criminal and Investigation Department, said it is difficult for people to distinguish between a genuine and a counterfeit note because counterfeiters make the fake currency look as close to the real bills as possible.

“That’s why we always aim to keep ourselves updated on the latest technologies introduced in the world, especially those used in the currency printing, inks and special features,” he said, while pointing out that modern technologies benefit counterfeiters as well.

Col Al Ajil said Sharjah Police have a special division to deal with fake currencies which has sophisticated machines to detect them, he said.

Sharjah Police dealt with 12-14 cases of fake currencies of different countries in 2016, he said and called on the public to report to the police if they come across fake currencies.