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Woman Arrested with Over $500,000 Counterfeit US Banknotes

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CHIANG RAI – Police have arrested a 54-year-old woman with over $500,000 in counterfeit US $100 banknotes after a covert operation.

Ms. Masaras Nitisakyothin was taken into custody by officers after they searched her house Thursday.

They found two metal boxes containing counterfeit US$100 notes totaling $547,300.00

The first box had 4,949 banknotes, worth about $494,000 at face value. The second held 524 banknotes, with a face value of $52,400, according to police.

The team also found many black notes the same size as the $100 bills. The black notes were believed awaiting washing with chemicals, part of the counterfeiting process.

The raid came after border police learned that counterfeit US dollar notes had been sold in Chiang Rai.

Pol Col Wachira Phayanoi, posed as a buyer of counterfeit currency, Thai media reported.

Ms Masaras, arranged to meet Col Wachira at a nearby petrol station. She took him to her house and allegedly showed him counterfeit US dollar banknotes.

Pol Col Wachira obtain a court warrant to search her house, then revealed he was a police officer.

Ms Masaras was charged initially with possessing counterfeit foreign banknotes with intent to use. She was taken to Muang police station for legal action.