Cases of counterfeit renminbi notes are on the rise in China.
The amount of fake yuan bills confiscated across the country has risen more than 25 percent every year since 2012, China Daily reported, citing the Ministry of Public Security. Last year, the total reached 532 million yuan.
Police deal with an average of 1,000 cases of fake money each year, and there have been signs recently that the problem is growing, according to the report.
The ministry is stepping up efforts to catch the criminal gangs involved, and is working with the People’s Bank of China to carry out regional operations in key provinces, Pan Yuzong, director of the ministry’s anti-counterfeit money division, said.
Dong Yongxian, who is in charge of the ministry’s laboratory that deals with fake money, said counterfeiting in an elaborate operation that requires a complete network and industrial chain.
Gang members tend to be relatives of the leaders or come from the same village, and are highly organized.
They are now even selling fake money online, Dong said.
Aside from 100 yuan notes, which are the favorite of counterfeiting gangs, fake bills in smaller denominations such as one, five and 10 yuan, are also being produced.
The ministry plans to focus its efforts on this area as small-denomination notes can be circulated more easily, Pan said.
Dong said more than 96 percent of the counterfeit renminbi notes seized across China in recent years made use of original artwork produced by a master forger from Shantou, Guangdong province.
Copies of the drawings done by Peng Daxiang for the whole series of yuan bank notes are still being used today, although he has been serving a life sentence since 2013, Dong said.
As technology develops, some gangs are using simple printers, ink and paper to produce fake money, the report said.
Police have also seized forged yuan notes in other countries such as Thailand and Mongolia.
“If we do not intensify the crackdown and take more preventive measures, the internationalization of the currency will be affected,” Pan said.
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