BSP, NBI intensify crackdown on counterfeiters

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it is pursuing more aggressively the prevention of counterfeiting or the production of fake banknotes in the country.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

NBI logo

“The central bank, together with law enforcement agencies, such as the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), has been actively conducting joint anti-counterfeiting operations,” said BSP on Monday, March 21.

The most recent BSP and NBI enforcement operations were conducted on January 19 wherein both agencies apprehended four suspects after confiscating 161 counterfeit banknotes and 78 fake foreign currencies.

“The four suspects were charged with violating Article 168 in relation to Article 166 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended,” said the BSP.

Under Republic Act No. 10951, those convicted as counterfeiters are slapped with a maximum P2 million in fines and imprisonment of up to 20 years.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in January they are currently conducting preparatory work for legislative proposals to “raise the penalty for crimes involving currency counterfeiting and to criminalize the hoarding of coins.”

The BSP wants to impose a more rigid package of penalties and sanctions against currency counterfeiting and to criminalize the stockpiling of large amounts of coins.

The BSP is hoping that their proposed measures will further strengthen its currency operations such as production, distribution, deposit-taking from banks, authenticity verification, anti-counterfeiting operations, and retirement.

From 2010 to 2021, the BSP has conducted 110 law enforcement operations with NBI and arrested 179 suspects. It has seized 12,400 pieces of counterfeit banknotes worth P7.8 million and more than 14,300 pieces of counterfeit US dollar banknotes worth more than $92.5 million.

The BSP has also confiscated coins worth P50 million from 2010 to 2021.

“The BSP advises the public to report any information on currency counterfeiting to the nearest police station or law enforcement agency, or contact the BSP Currency Investigation Group (PCIG) through telephone numbers (02) 8988-4833 and (02) 8926-5092, or via email at [email protected],” said the BSP on Monday.