TOKYO (TR) – Following reports of fake U.S. $100 bills in circulation in the capital in October, law enforcement has confirmed the existence of 45 such bills, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Dec. 20).
On October 27, several men arrived at two ticket shops in Taito Ward with a total of 40 suspicious U.S. $100 bills that they changed into another currency. Four days later, a representative from a ticket shop in Shinjuku Ward consulted with police after receiving five suspicious bills the day before.
The results of a subsequent investigation conducted by a crime laboratory of Tokyo police has revealed that all 45 bills are counterfeit.
Also in October, persons approached the Shibuya Police Station with other bills believed to be counterfeit.
According to Counterfeit Detection Research, located in Chuo Ward, some of the fake bills found in recent years have been accepted by machines that detect counterfeit currency at exchange shops.
Tomohiko Endo, the head of Counterfeit Detection Research, located in Chuo Ward, points out that the liberalization of the foreign currency exchange business in 1998 and the recent surge of foreign tourists are contributing to the problem. “If there is an increase in inexperienced clerks, the detection of fake bills will lag, which could result in a widespread problem,” Endo said.