Arrests made in counterfeiting ring | DrumhellerMail
Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2024 10am

Arrests made in counterfeiting ring

The Drumheller RCMP warns local businesses to be cognizant of American counterfeit bills this summer.
This comes after two individuals were arrested leaving the valley after it was alleged they passed a large sum of bills in just a couple short hours, and Drumheller is not the only community targeted by such a hit.
According to Staff Sergeant Art Hopkins, a ring has been discovered where similar counterfeit bills have turned up in communities including Lethbridge, Nanton, Claresholm, Fort Macleod, Red Cliff, and now Drumheller.
“Virtually what we have is a counterfeit ring originating in or around Calgary where it appears various drug users are being given counterfeit money and are instructed to go out to various communities and purchase various items,” said Hopkins.
He says the couple in Drumheller allegedly dropped $1,400 in about two hours.
A person suspicious of the large sums of cash being spent alerted police of the couple, and they were arrested in the Rosebud area with the purchased items. Shortly thereafter, another $1,200 in counterfeit bills were found that appeared to be dumped by the culprits as they were being pursued.
According to Hopkins it appeared “they intended to come to Drumheller with $3,000 worth of counterfeit money, blow as much as they can, and then leave.”
He would like business owners and shopkeepers to be aware of the potential for more counterfeit cash being passed. At times it is tempting for shopkeepers to make a major sale, but if something seems suspicious, a few simple questions could shed some light on the situation.
“If you have someone who is passing American money, and they came up from Calgary, and have an Alberta driver’s licence, why are they trying to spend American money in Drumheller?” asks Hopkins. “We have to do some checking. If they are receiving this money from somebody, and things don’t feel quite right, ask them to produce ID.”
He notes that merchants should not be wary of all transactions involving American money; as there are a number of American visitors who enjoy the valley, but a little due diligence can help remove a little doubt.
“If someone takes $1,400 worth of merchandise, it takes a lot of time to make that money up," said Hopkins.
“We have to notify the public this money is out her, by making them aware of what we are dealing with, without creating inconvenience for the legitimate visitors to our area."
Hopkins explains the occurrence of counterfeiting is on the rise, with the advent of technology. At one time the production of counterfeit bills was complicated, the quality of modern photocopiers and printers have made it cheaper and easier to produce passable currency. This has also allowed criminals to produce lower denominations that can be less suspicious.
The denominations in this recent case involved American $20 and $50 notes.
Two people appeared in provincial court in Drumheller on May 23, both faced charges of uttering counterfeit money as if it were genuine. They are to return June 13.

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