EYES OPEN: Callide Dawson Chamber of Commerce vice-president Mark Di Ruggiero warns business to remain vigilant of counterfeit bills circulating in the Biloela area.
EYES OPEN: Callide Dawson Chamber of Commerce vice-president Mark Di Ruggiero warns business to remain vigilant of counterfeit bills circulating in the Biloela area.

Fake money heavy cost

BUSINESS owners are urged to keep a lookout for counterfeit money, with Chinese text printed on the bills, that may still be circulating around the Biloela area.

This comes after the Criminal Investigation Branch found $8000 of counterfeit cash at a Biloela address during a search on November 8.

Police have confirmed that up to $2000 worth of counterfeit cash may be circulating in the Biloela and Gladstone area.

This comes after a local business reported one of the $50 counterfeit notes to police after it came into their possession.

Callide Dawson Chamber of Commerce vice-president Mark Di Ruggiero said that businesses could cop a hefty loss if their insurance policy didn’t cover the receipt of fake dollars.

“It goes directly out of our takings because we can’t get that back,” Mr Di Ruggiero said.

“I’m not even entirely sure myself if I could claim insurance losses under the theft condition of my insurance policy because of these counterfeit bills.

“It’s hard enough as it is running a small business without this stuff going on.”

Around $8000 in counterfeit cash, weapons, cannabis and drug utensils were found while executing a search warrant at a Biloela address on November 8. (Photo: Queensland Police Service)
Around $8000 in counterfeit cash, weapons, cannabis and drug utensils were found while executing a search warrant at a Biloela address on November 8. (Photo: Queensland Police Service)

The counterfeit bills in question are described as of good quality and feel compared to genuine currency but have easily identifiable Chinese text printed on them.

The bills with Chinese text on them are used by banks to train Chinese bank tellers in Australian currency.

Acting Senior Sergeant Colin McLean from Biloela Police cautioned all businesses handling cash to take the extra time and spot any counterfeit bills.

“We would be looking to encourage the community generally and employees of business receiving cash to remain vigilant with any money that they receive,” Sergeant McLean said.

“If they take the time to look at it, it will be clear by its appearance and the texture that it is not legal tender.”

This latest investigation follows the use of Chinese training notes to commit fraud offences in the Rockhampton area in June this year, targeting businesses including service stations and taxis.

It is an offence to possess counterfeit currency, as is attempting to pass counterfeit currency with the intent to defraud a business or individual person.

“It’s not very good for this to be happening around our area,” Mr Di Ruggiero said.

“I’ve posted to a few pages and help spread the word of it.

“It looks like the police and authorities are right on the pulse of this one so I’m hopeful nothing will get past anyone.”

If you come across counterfeit bills contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.