BSP boosts fight vs fake Philippine peso bills

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) boosted its fight against fake Philippine peso bills after having arrested 4 suspects accused of faking the Philippine currency in the first semester of 2017.

The BSP said in a statement on Friday, August 4, that its operatives from the Currency Issue and Integrity Office seized counterfeited banknotes made up of P1,000 and P500 bills, printing machines, a scanner, and printing paraphernalia. These were discovered inside the house of the suspects.

Ammunition and motorcycles used by the perpetrators in illegal activities were also confiscated, the BSP added.

Since 2005, the central bank has conducted at least 117 anti-counterfeiting operations, leading to the arrest and filing of cases against 199 suspects.

Aside from fake Philippine pesos, the central bank said it had also seized counterfeited foreign currencies, including Iraqi dinar, Japanese yen, Malaysian ringgit, and US dollars.

The BSP said its anti-counterfeiting operations were successful largely due to the information provided by anonymous tipsters, who eventually received monetary rewards for cooperating in the government's crackdown on bogus money.

The central bank's reward system now includes "information involving the hoarding and mutilation/destruction of Philippine currency coins."

To report an illegal activity, informants may contact the BSP's hotline numbers 988-4833 and 926-5092, or they may coordinate with the nearest police station.

Under Section 50 of Republic Act No. 7653, the BSP is vested with police authority to "investigate, make arrests, and conduct searches and seizures in accordance with law, for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the currency." –