Funny Money













February 28, 2009

Three CNMI residents were arrested for counterfeiting U.S. currency. Nestor Camacho Taitano, Lucas Taitano Manglona, and Kisha Lyn Masga King were indicted Thursday. From the Saipan Trubune:
Taitano and King were charged with one count of conspiracy to utter counterfeit obligations and securities, and three counts of counterfeiting. Taitano and Manglona were charged with one count of conspiracy to utter counterfeit obligations and securities, and one count of counterfeiting.

The three were taken to the U.S. District Court for the NMI yesterday afternoon for a hearing. They pleaded not guilty.
It is reported that counterfeiting is increasing in Saipan:
A visiting U.S. Secret Service special agent has noted a significant increase in the amount of counterfeit U.S. currency being circulated on Saipan in the last three months.

In an interview with Saipan Tribune, special agent Virgil D. “Gus” Reichle corroborated Crime Stoppers Program coordinator Jason Tarkong's statement that these fake dollar bills are now being made locally.

“We believe these fake bills are made here on Saipan. But as far as hard proof, we don't have it right now,” Reichle said.
The agent stated that the counterfeiters started with lower denomination bills and then graduated to $50 and $100 bills.  Saipan blog, Saipan, Rota, Tinian, Saipan crime, Northern Mariana Islands, CNMI
A February 12, 2009 Saipan Tribune story reported that the people dealing with methamphetamine or “ice” are the same people believed to be behind the fake money circulating on the islands. In January Lucas Taitano Manglona was arrested for purchasing cigarettes and a lighter with a fake $50 bill.

Counterfeit Money has been a problem in the CNMI for a while. See these stories:

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