Police in Singapore Find Counterfeit Kyats in Raids on Moneychangers

By Nan Lwin 7 December 2018

YANGON — Police in Singapore say the arrest of a Singaporean couple in Yangon last week for using fake kyats led to raids on 18 moneychangers in the island state that came up with more counterfeit cash.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the two Singaporeans obtained the counterfeit kyat notes from a moneychanger in Singapore. A raid was conducted at the said moneychanger and counterfeit 10000 kyat notes with same serial numbers starting with ‘AG’ and ‘AE’ were found,” Singapore police said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement said subsequent raids on 17 other moneychangers turned up more of the same counterfeit notes.

Last week, police in Yangon arrested a Singaporean couple at Shwedagon Pagoda after they used fake 10,000 kyats notes to pay the admission fee and found them in possession of more counterfeit cash worth about $300. The couple said they received the notes from a moneychanger in Singapore and have had a related lawsuit filed against them by police.

The 10,000 kyats note is the highest denomination in Myanmar.

On Thursday, a 25-year-old woman was arrested in Bago Region for allegedly using fake 10,000 kyats notes after a recent trip to Singapore. Local police later seized an additional $1,000 worth of counterfeit currency at her home.

“She worked in Singapore. Before she came back her employer helped exchange all of her salary into kyats in Singapore,” an officer with the Daik-U Township police department said.

Thursday’s statement from the Singapore police said their investigation was ongoing. It said anyone convicted of using counterfeit currency may be sentence to prison for up to 20 years and that anyone convicted of possessing the notes may be sentenced to up to 15 years.

The statement advises people to be vigilant and to look out for notes with serial numbers starting with AG or AE.

Officials with the Myanmar Central Bank could not immediately be reached for comment and have not issued a statement about the recent spate of fake kyat notes.