QC cops nab Romanian for exchanging fake euros in money shops
A Romanian national was arrested in Quezon City on Saturday after he was caught exchanging thousands of counterfeit euros in several money changers in Metro Manila.
Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, director of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), said Romanian national Mahai-Geroge Simion was arrested at a money changer shop on Timog Avenue at 3:00 a.m.
Eleazar said that Simon, 28-year-old geodetic engineer, attempted to exchange around €3,150 (or nearly P200,000) in different money changers across the metro.
“The suspect first exchanged €700 for pesos at Best Money changer last January 1, 2018, whose owner, Masher Hadjula, found out that the euros were fake when he brought them to the bank,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“On January 22 (Monday), he managed to exchange €1,100 at the Best Money Changer’s Mandaluyong branch, and attempted to again exchange €650 at the Timog shop early this morning (Saturday),” the QCPD chief said.
However, the teller at the Timog Avenue money changer, Abdul Malic, recognized Simion as the same foreigner who had exchanged counterfeit euros the first time he entered the shop.
“Malic told Simion that he had to wait because he had to get more pesos. Malic left the shop but instead went to the police and came back with them,” Eleazar said.
Kamuning Police Station operatives then collared Simion and turned him over to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) in Camp Karingal.
Police also seized different denominations of counterfeit euros from Simion’s possession and submitted them to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for certification, Eleazar said.
Moreover, Eleazar said another money changer shop owner, Venjon Ingala, filed a complaint against Simion upon learning of his arrest.
Ingala, owner of Mhuds Mar Money Changer on Tomas Morato, said he also had been previously victimized by Simion who had exchanged €700, the QCPD chief said.
Eleazar said Simion would be charged with charges of estafa, swindling and illegal possession and use of false bank notes.
The QCPD would also investigate whether Simion was connected with a syndicate, he said. /jpv
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