AUTHORITIES from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested a Cameroonian national for selling forged US dollar banknotes in July.

The BSP said in a statement that a certain Fonki Gregory Abueh, 47, a resident of Makati, was arrested in an entrapment operation in Taguig.

The Quezon City Police Anti-Cybercrime Team and the BSP’s Payments and Currency Investigation Group also seized 14 pieces of fake $100 bills from the suspect.

Mr. Abueh was charged before the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office for alleged violations of the Revised Penal Code, including the illegal possession and forging of false treasury or banknotes.

He was also charged with alleged estafa under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, or Republic Act No. 10175, for swindling an individual in a financial investment online scam.

Earlier this year, the BSP and the National Bureau of Investigation also confiscated 161 counterfeit Philippine currency banknotes and 78 fake foreign banknotes during enforcement operations. 

According to the BSP, four suspects were arrested last January during law enforcement operations in Pampanga and Tarlac.

The four suspects were also charged with alleged illegal possession and use of false treasury or banknotes under the Revised Penal Code, the BSP said.

The central bank asked the public to report information on currency counterfeiting to law enforcement authorities.

People who fake Philippine currency may be imprisoned for up to 20 years or pay a fine up to P2 million.

Meanwhile, the BSP on Tuesday cautioned the public to be vigilant against fraud over unsolicited e-mails or text messages, with links that redirect users to suspicious websites.

It advised the public to cautiously examine messages and to refrain from clicking links even if these appear to be from banks, e-money issuers or known companies or brands.

The BSP reminded the public to protect their personal information and account details. — KBT