By LITO RULONA
THE man the National Bureau of Investigation arrested here late last week for circulating fake money has been selling counterfeit P1 thousand, P500, and P100 bills in the city since August.
Authorities on Friday pressed charges against the man from Barangay Carmen who was caught with bundles of counterfeit bills during an entrapment on CM Recto Ave. on Thursday night.
The suspect, 29-year old Charlie Quintana a.k.a. Darling of Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Carmen, this city, was charged with illegal possession and use of false treasury and bank notes and other instruments of credit before the City Prosecutor’s Office on Friday afternoon.
Quintana was caught the night before during a joint operation carried out by the NBI with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in a restaurant on CM Recto Ave..
He allegedly had P163,700 in counterfeit bills when authorities pounced on him after he tried to sell bundles of fake money.
NBI regional director Sally Hans Barbaso said Quintana was caught with a marked money used in the entrapment, 74 pieces of fake P1-thousand bills, 158 fake P500 bills, and 187 fake P100 bills.
Quintana confessed to selling fake money but he declined to identify his source.
“Gipabaligya ra ko pero wala ko kaila nila. Tungod lang sa kawad-on mao nga namaligya ko,” he said.
Quintana said he sold fake P1 thousand bills for only P200 each, the fake P500 bills for P100 each, and the fake P100 bills for P20 each.
Quintana said he has been selling the fake money since August.
Barbaso said the NBI first received the information about Quintana and a plan to circulate fake money in the city on Monday.
“With that information, we conducted a surveillance and a test buy,” he said.
Barbaso said the test-buy was only for two fake bills, and then the NBI submitted these to the BSP for examination.
Barbaso said the entrapment was carried out as soon as the BSP confirmed that the bills were fake.
He said the NBI was still trying to determine the source of the fake money but he hinted of a crime syndicate behind it.
“Paspas na unya ilang transaction, and then coming na ang Christmas rush, basin malutsan ta,” Barbaso said.
The NBI called on the public to be vigilant, and to carefully examine their money.
“To the ordinary eye, mura gyud siya og genuine,” Barbaso said.