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Crime Wrap

26/November/2021

Counterfeit money circulating in the Far North

Police in the Cairns and Tablelands area have received numerous reports of counterfeit money circulating in the community in recent weeks.

Police are investigating the seventh counterfeit currency report in the past week.

Four Smithfield businesses, a Manunda business, an Edmonton business and a Cairns CBD business have all reported an incident where counterfeit currency was presented.  

Earlier this month two Mareeba businesses reported the use of counterfeit money.

Local businesses are urged to make sure all employees are aware of these recent incidents and provide advice to them about how to identify counterfeit currency.

Australian banknotes are printed on polymer, a type of plastic that has a distinct feel.

Polymer notes should return back to shape after they are scrunched up.

The current counterfeit notes are printed on plastic and do feel similar to bank notes however all employees handling cash should make themselves familiar with genuine Australian banknotes.

If you suspect you’ve received counterfeit currency:

  1. Handle the suspect bank note as little as possible and store it in an envelope.
  2. Note any relevant information, such as how it came into your possession.
  3. Report the matter immediately to state or federal police.
  4. Serious assault police charges, Wongaling Beach:
  5. Innisfail detectives have charged a 34-year-old Bingil Bay man after he allegedly assaulted and verbally abused a police officer outside a local school around 2.50pm on Friday, November 19.
  6. It will be alleged the man approached the officer who was conducting traffic control duties in a school zone and began yelling and abusing the officer in an aggressive manner.
  7. The man allegedly struck the officers arm after he was told to move away.
  8. Despite numerous attempts to calm him down, the man continued to use obscene and threatening language.
  9. The man was taken into custody with the assistance of an off-duty police officer.
  10. The 34-year-old Bingil Bay man was charged with serious assault of police, obstructing a police officer, committing a public nuisance and wilful disturbance at an educational institution. He is scheduled to appear in Innisfail Magistrates Court on December 16.
  11. Counterfeit currency charges, Smithfield:
  12. Police arrested a 40-year-old Edmonton man early this morning (November 23) at a Smithfield shopping centre.
  13. The man was identified by police following a spate of offences allegedly committed in Atherton, Bungalow, Smithfield and Cairns over the past three months.
  14. Police will allege the man stole a brand-new Audi from a Bungalow dealership on September 20.
  15. The car was located abandoned a short distance from the dealership on Newell Street due a security feature limiting the speed of the car.
  16. Following his arrest, police conducted a search of the Edmonton man’s vehicle and located a quantity of counterfeit $100 and $50 Australian notes, including a partially made note.
  17. He was later charged with two counts of possessing counterfeit money and one count each of making money and uttering counterfeit money.
  18. He was further charged with other outstanding matters including four counts of publishing or possessing instructions for producing dangerous drugs, two counts each of receiving tainted property, unlawful use motor vehicle and one count each of driving without a licence, fraud, trespass and wilful damage.
  19. Police opposed the man’s bail and he is scheduled to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court today.
  20. In an unrelated matter, a 28-year-old Caravonica woman was also charged on November 18 with possessing counterfeit money, uttering counterfeit money and fraud.
  21. She is scheduled to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court on December 3.

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