West Shore RCMP Const. Alex Berube shows off the over $60

Ten-month long counterfeit investigation leads to arrest in Langford

Police warn fake bills could be circulating on the West Shore

West Shore RCMP are warning local businesses to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency and take the time to make sure staff members are aware of security features on bills.

“We believe more businesses may have fallen victim,” said detachment spokesperson Const. Alex Berube. “There is a strong possibility there are other bills in circulation.”

Police seized over $60,000 in Canadian and U.S. currency, along with instruments used to manufacture counterfeit money, after executing a search warrant at a home on Red Alder Court in Langford last week.

“This was $60,000 destined for local and regional businesses,” Berube said, adding that at least nine different businesses were hit. “Business owners and retailers aren’t necessarily aware of the security features.”

The warrant was the result of a 10-month investigation that began in February. But Berube said police have not finished their investigation. “We expect further charges to be laid,” he said.

Deborah Lynne Thomas, 32, faces nine counts of uttering, using or exporting counterfeit money. No charges involving the production of the currency have been laid.

Berube said Thomas was not previously known to police.

Investigators had no information on whether she could be facing counterfeiting charges in the U.S. But West Shore RCMP has partnered with the U.S. Secret Service to confirm details involving the counterfeiting of American currency.

Of the seized bills, Berube said “some of them can be hard to differentiate … Some of them are quite obvious.” A number of the bills were printed on letter size sheets of paper and their colouring was off. He noted the feel and cutting of the paper was also off, and certain security features were missing from a number of the bills. There were some real $5 bills seized, in various stages of having their magnetic strip burned off.

Berube said some of the security features were removed from real, smaller bills and applied to fake ones.

The seized Canadian currency ranged from $5 bills to a $1,000 bill, while the U.S. currency was all $20 bills.

West Shore RCMP have received in excess of 100 complaints about counterfeit money this year. Last year in Canada there were over 62,000 counterfeit Canadian banknotes passed, of which just under 14,000 were seized. The most popular forgeries were $20 bills.

Police urge anyone who believes they may have received fake currency, or has any information regarding the case, to contact them at 250-474-2264 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

To learn more about phoney bills, go to bankofcanada.ca/banknotes or call 1-888-513-8212.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Local tongue-in-cheek opportunists flog snow huts

‘Executive’ and ‘eco-friendly’ one-bedrooms pop up on Craigslist and Used Victoria

Province urges backcountry adventurers to stay safe this weekend

Search and rescue responded to 28 incidents last Family Day weekend

Snow storms prompt reminders to prepare for emergencies

Province reminds public of essential supplies

Langford could soon be seeing its first retail cannabis store

Clarity Cannabis BC Ltd. gets province’s approval

West Shore fundraiser serves up hope for kids with food allergies

Proceeds assist Oral Immunotherapy Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read