AGENTS of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) along with banking and local authorities seized counterfeit US and Philippine currencies in Angeles City, Pampanga and Bamban, Tarlac.
Arrested during separate operations launched by the NBI-Special Action Unit (NBI-SAU) were Joelyn Castro, Virgilio Yalung, Zenia Andres, and Marilyn Lucero.
They were brought for an inquest before the Office of the Prosecutor – Department of Justice in Manila for violation of Article 168 (Illegal possession and use of false treasury or bank notes and other instruments of credit) in relation to Article 166 (Forging treasury or bank notes on other documents payable to bearer) both under the Revised Penal Code, as amended.
The amount of the seized counterfeit U.S. and Philippine currencies remains undetermined as of this writing.
In a press statement, NBI Officer-In-Charge Eric Distor disclosed that the operation stemmed from an information received that suspects Castro and Yalung will bring fake US bills to a money changer in Angeles City.
This prompted the NBI-SAU to coordinate with the Payments and Currency Investigation Group of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and local authorities.
The group proceeded to Angeles City and monitored the suspects who proceeded to a money changer and tried to exchange the fake US bills. The money changer refused to accept them for being counterfeit.
The NBI-SAU operatives apprehended the suspects and seized were 78 pieces of counterfeit US$100 bills with various serial numbers.
During the interrogation, the suspects revealed their source of the counterfeit bills, which resulted in a follow-up operation.
They led NBI operatives to the house of their alleged source in Anopol, Bamban, Tarlac where two undercover agents met the two other suspects Andres and Lucero, who were immediately placed under arrest.
Seized from them were counterfeit P1,000. The confiscated currencies were presented to BSP officials who confirmed that the bills were counterfeit.