3 held after shoppers' cash swapped for fakes

Three suspects have been detained for possessing and dealing in counterfeit currency in Pudong. 

Shanghai police have detained three vegetable vendors suspected of swindling customers by swapping their genuine 100-yuan notes with fakes.

Police zeroed in on a white van in the Sanlin neighborhood of the Pudong New Area following complaints by residents that they had been cheated.

Residents trying to pay with 100-yuan notes were told by vendors they did not have change. But as they handed back the notes, they quickly swapped them for fake bills, police said.

One of the victims, an elderly man surnamed Jiang, told Shanghai Daily he bought shrimps from a van parked outside his residential complex.

Jiang said he paid 50 yuan per kilogram, 10 yuan chapter than at the local market. 

“I gave the man on the van 100 yuan and then he told me that he didn't have any change," he said. “He gave me the money back after I gave him the exact amount for the shrimps."

However, when he went to the market later to buy tofu, he was told his 100-yuan note was counterfeit. 

Police officer Shen Junwen said the suspects targeted elderly people.

“One of the suspects, a woman, would stand near the van and look out for law enforcement officials. The gang of three would drive away after about five minutes,” Shen said.

Police seized about 33,000 yuan (US$5,300) of counterfeit notes when they detained the gang, who will now face charges of theft and being in possession of fake bank notes.

Chen Huizhi / SHINE

Jiang of Sanlin neighborhood in Pudong explains how he was cheated of 100 yuan at the police station on Thursday.  

Chen Huizhi / SHINE

An ultraviolet pen is useful to identify a real bank note from a fake one. 

Similar cases were also found in other districts like Songjiang, Fengxian, Jiading, Minhang and the Pudong New Area, Shen said.

The three suspects were caught on Chunhui Road, Pudong.

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