Man allegedly tries to sell counterfeit S$10,000 note to S'pore Chinatown store

The serial number looked fishy.

Daniel Seow | February 22, 2024, 04:14 PM



The police are looking into a case of a man who allegedly attempted to sell a counterfeit S$10,000 note to a money collector at People's Park Centre on Feb. 19, 2024.

The shop owner, who noticed the bill had a suspicious serial number, rejected the man.

Other members of the public called the police, and the man left before the officers arrived.

'In one glance, I knew it was fake'

Liao Jiawen (transliteration from Mandarin), who owns Carmen Numismatic, told Shin Min Daily News (Shin Min) that a man in his 30s or 40s came to her shop that afternoon, accompanied by a woman.

He showed her a picture of a S$10,000 note on his phone and said it belonged to his sister.

"In one glance, I knew it was fake," Liao said.

Liao, who's been trading used banknotes at the shop for about 14 years, had noticed a red flag —  that the bill's serial number started with the characters "2AA".

Genuine notes, she said, would have serial numbers starting with "0AA" and "0YI".

But when Liao told the man her concerns about the note, he maintained that it was real.

She then took out a real note from her shop for comparison, to which the man allegedly retorted, "It's exactly the same as mine!"

However, Liao stood her ground and refused to buy it, so the man gave up and left.

She believes that a member of the public subsequently alerted the police.

Police investigating the matter

Shin Min reported that two policemen came to the scene to obtain CCTV footage of the incident from Liao.

Footage showed that the man was wearing a black long-sleeved top and carrying a bag with a red strap.

"The person did not look local and spoke with an Indonesian accent," Liao said of the person at her store.

Liao added that other shopkeepers had warned her husband that the same man tried to sell them a fake note, too.

The police confirmed with Shin Min that a report was lodged and are looking into the matter.

Not the first time

Liao said it's not the first time something like this has happened.

According to her, another man tried to sell her a counterfeit S$10,000 bill about a month ago.

Liao told him the note was fake and warned him not to bring it back.

"There's a lot of counterfeit S$10,000 notes on the market, so we have to be careful not to be duped," she said.

S$10,000 notes discontinued in 2014, but still being counterfeited

Singapore previously announced in 2014 that it would stop issuing S$10,000 notes, one of the world's most valuable banknotes, to tighten its anti-money laundering controls.

Existing S$10,000 notes in circulation are still legal tender in Singapore.

In March 2022, two men were arrested following an attempt to deposit three counterfeit S$10,000 notes at a bank outlet at Plaza Singapura.

In September 2023, an Indonesian couple attempted to exchange fake S$10,000 notes for chips at a casino in Singapore.

An investigation by Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Indonesian National Police led to a fake currency syndicate in Indonesia being busted.

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Top image from Numista website (for illustration only) / Shin Min Daily News.