Two men have been arrested in Phnom Penh and charged with trafficking in counterfeit US currency after police discovered $74,000 in fake bills in their possession, Moek Dara, director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug department, said on Friday.
Former RCAF colonel Kroch Sarik, 53, and his son, Dum Sopheaktra, 27, were arrested March 11 in Meanchey district’s Chbar Ampov commune and sent to court to be charged and detained in Prey Sar prison March 13, Moek Dara said.
The suspects, who were found with $70,000 in $100 bills and $4,000 in smaller notes, planned to sell the counterfeit $100 bills for $40 each, he said. “They were going to sell it in order to cheat the innocent,” Moek Dara said. “This act is just like robbery.”
The Siem Reap provincial court issued an additional warrant for the arrest of Kroch Sarik on separate fraud charges, Moek Dara said.
US Secret Service agents based in Bangkok will visit Cambodia March 27 to determine the origin of the counterfeit bills, he said, adding that the Secret Service has provided training to his officers on how to identify counterfeit US currency.
US Embassy spokesman John Daigle confirmed that the Secret Service office in Bangkok had been notified of the haul but said authorities had yet to determine the next step in the investigation.
US officials have also trained bank employees in Phnom Penh to identify the minute differences between real and fake US notes.
The Secret Service, which is best known for protecting the president and vice president of the US, was originally created to suppress fake currency in 1865, according to the US Treasury Department Web site.
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