ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Security forces have confiscated many USD and Euro bills and 88 million Iraqi Dinars (IQD) in counterfeit banknotes in Erbil province since the start of 2018, and have arrested 100 suspects for dealing and trading them, the province’s Crime-Prevention units said on Monday.
“I was captured with 13 million Dinars in my possession when attempting to cross a checkpoint,” one of the arrestees told Kurdistan 24 at the Crime-Prevention Department. The stacks of money the police captured were mainly high-value bills.
There are three one million dollar notes among the confiscated bills, in total, adding up to nearly four million USD along with the other 100 USD notes seized from early 2018.
In an interview with Kurdistan 24, Erbil police spokesperson Hogir Aziz offered some tips to identify counterfeit money, chief among them the bill’s thickness. Since the image of a bill is copied onto a piece of paper, its thickness and discoloration can be noted upon close examination.
“When our dear citizens are exchanging money, they should be careful of the nature of the deal they are making” to avoid possible scams, Aziz warned.
The various notes are believed to have been brought to Kurdistan from the southern provinces of Iraq by an individual attempting to liquidate it for tens of thousands of dollars.
Authorities in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq have long warned citizens of people who engage in fraudulent activities, dealing foreign banknotes that are either fake or worthless in the country’s currency exchange markets.
In August, an Iraqi man lost the equivalent of USD 8,400 in the city of Karbala by accepting the counterfeit foreign currency. The man said an individual with a khaliji accent, commonly associated with Gulf countries, scammed him.
The fraudster was in possession of “60 banknotes” and told the man from Karbala that “the value of each note was IQD 200,000, nearly USD 168, which he wanted to change to Iraqi currency as soon as possible,” according to the statement.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany