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WATCH | NBI, BSP raid Manila house printing fake peso bills

A bank teller handles genuine P500 bills in this file photo from Agence France-Presse. On Friday (March 10), however, raiders from the NBI and Bangko Sentral stumbled on a group using color printers to produce fake P500 and P1,000 bills. means BUSINESS

MANILA - At first glance, they look like the real thing: bills for P500 and P1,000.

Closer examination, however, shows they were produced only by colored printers and non-security paper in a house in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

According to Raoul Manguerra, chief of the NBI's counter terrorism division, the syndicate behind the fake bills "have been doing this for a number of months already. We believe that a number of these notes are already in circulatinon."

The NBI and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas raided the house in Sta. Cruz district last Friday (March 10) and arrested three people.

All suspects denied they were printing fake bills.

Anthony Cuatico and Irmalynne Pablo insisted they were doing "only fake IDs."

The agents, however, seized fake bills worth P25,000 from them.

They will be charged with violating Articles 168 and 176 of the Revised Penal Code - a crime that is imposable with a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

According to the BSP, everyone who uses money could be a victim of the fake-bills operators, but the ones who are very busy, sleepy or are rushing to get their money when exchanging are the most vulerable ones.

To ensure the bills in one's hand are genuine, the BSP advises people to make it a habit to"feel, look, and tilt."

The genuine  article has its value always embossed or slightly raised when it is felt.

The BSP also advises to examine the "shiny" part. The faces on the fake bills are often quite dirty.

When the money is tilted at an angle, the color must be seen to change from green to red.