ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Authorities in the Kurdistan Region’s province of Erbil recently confiscated thousands of dollars in counterfeit currency at an exchange market in the town of Soran, local police said on Wednesday.
“We started investigating… after reports emerged that there were counterfeit bills in the Soran market,” city police spokesperson Sa’doun Hawdiani told Kurdistan 24.
He added that, on Nov. 28, “We arrested a person who admitted to the crime” of dealing fake notes “and revealed the names of others, who were also later arrested.”
He clarified that all the arrestees were from Soran. Among the paper bills were Iraqi Dinars and US dollars, which appeared authentic at first inspection, both visually and to the touch, he said. The total amount of the bills seized is estimated to be at least ten thousand dollars.
An investigation into the case is still ongoing and the police renewed previous calls to the general public to exercise greater caution when dealing with money, especially larger denominations.
In November, Erbil security forces said they had taken possession of the equivalent of millions of dollars of fake currency since the start of the year.
“When our dear citizens are exchanging money, they should be careful of the nature of the deal they are making” to avoid possible scams, police spokesperson Hogir Aziz warned while speaking with Kurdistan 24.
The various notes are believed to have been brought to Kurdistan from the southern provinces of Iraq by an individual attempting to liquidate them for tens of thousands of dollars.
Authorities in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq have long warned citizens of criminals who engage in fraudulent activities, dealing foreign banknotes that are either fake or worthless in the country’s currency exchange markets.
Editing by John J. Catherine