Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) A local court has granted a request to detain five people arrested in connection with the alleged counterfeiting of millions of dollars worth of U.S. dollar bills in Taiwan, the New Taipei District Prosecutors Office said Friday.
The New Taipei District Court granted the request after prosecutors argued it was necessary to detain the suspects because of the seriousness of the crime and the possibility they could collude to destroy evidence.
The suspects were arrested in four separate raids in November after the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) received a tip-off that a criminal ring was forging US$100 bills across Taiwan for sale on the black market.
They were caught in Sanchong District in New Taipei, Shilin District in Taipei, Luzhu District in Taoyuan, and Huatan Township in Chiayi County, prosecutors said.
During the raids, investigators seized US$11.04 million in fake bills, a batch of fake U.S. dollar straps (the bands that hold a single denomination and number of banknotes together), and ink used to forge the U.S. dollar banknotes, prosecutors said.
Investigators found that the suspects sold each US$100 bill on the black market for a value ranging between NT$350-NT$450 (US$11.47-US$14.75), said prosecutors, who remain busy trying to track down the masterminds behind the counterfeit money ring.
Local authorities are also still trying to determine the amount of fake U.S. bills that have already been laundered, according to prosecutors.