Police have revealed details of how they smashed a million-dollar counterfeiting ring in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai, raiding a fake money plant and rounding up seven suspects.
The raid in mid July netted finished and partially finished counterfeit notes with a face value of 26 million yuan (3.5 million U.S. dollars), Zhuhai Municipal Public Security Bureau in Guangdong Province said in a press release Tuesday.
It said the fake bills were all 20-yuan notes printed so well that they could have passed easily as genuine.
The fake money had been handed to the Zhuhai branch of the People's Bank of China and the suspects had been brought to the local procurators office, it said.
In early July, police in Guangdong Province became so suspicious of two Zhuhai-based businessmen, surnamed Zhu and Zhang, who were running a secluded printing house in Fuxi village of Xiangzhou District, a downtown industrial zone, that they launched24-hour surveillance.
The two men confessed to the police they had been talked into printing fake bills for two illegal dealers at the 80-square meter workshop.
Zhu and Zhang also confessed to police they had travelled to Guangzhou to learn counterfeiting techniques, and had bought four printing machines and hired three workers for the illegal production.
They had counterfeited only 20-yuan bills, fearing notes of bigger face value would be too noticeable, said a spokesman with the Zhuhai Public Security Bureau.
He said it was the first banknote counterfeiting ring cracked in Zhuhai in 30 years.
Zhuhai, which neighbors Macao, is one of the special economic zones set up in 1979 to pilot China's economic reform. It has a population of 1.88 million as of July.