Repeat offender gets five years' jail for counterfeiting $100 notes, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Repeat offender gets five years' jail for counterfeiting $100 notes

 Unrepentant despite being jailed for three years for counterfeiting currency in 2019, a man struck again in 2021 as he wanted to buy contraband cigarettes.

The Singaporean worked with an accomplice to print and cut counterfeit notes in $100 denominations between June and July 2021.

Muhammad Farhan Farus, 28, was on Thursday sentenced to five years' jail after he pleaded guilty to a charge each of forging currency, using counterfeit notes as genuine money, and possessing instruments for counterfeiting money.

The court heard that when Farhan retrieved items from the police, including a laptop, that were seized for his previous counterfeiting offence, he felt the urge to print fake notes again.

On June 28, 2021, he told an acquaintance he met at a halfway house, Mahadi Ab Latif, 45, of his plan to use the notes to buy contraband cigarettes.

Farhan said he had a printer and laptop to carry out the operation but no location to do so.

Mahadi, who wanted some of the notes for his own use, suggested going to a warehouse in Changi South Avenue 2. He knew the space was empty as he had seen it during delivery jobs.

Between July 28 and July 2, Farhan used a printer, laptop, paper and ink to print the notes and Mahadi cut them using a penknife.

The duo was caught when Farhan purchased items using the fake notes. He used eight pieces of counterfeit $100 notes to pay for glass water pipes and lighters.

After he took the items and drove off in a haste, the seller noticed the notes were not genuine.

The police later seized 185 pieces of $100 counterfeit notes from the warehouse.

Seeking at least five years' jail, Deputy Public Prosecutor Susanna Yim said Farhan "clearly has not learnt his lesson" as he was traced for the same offences.

"The accused's culpability is high given that he used the very same laptop, containing the relevant templates for producing counterfeit currency, that he used for his antecedent offence," she said.

DPP Yim added that Farhan was the mastermind of the scheme and had provided all the equipment needed.

Defence lawyer Kalidass Murugaiyan sought 31/2 to 4 years' jail for his client, saying the operation wa s not a sophisticated exercise.

He pointed out that some of the notes were oversized and had smudges on its security features.

"This was a very back-of-the-garage kind of an operation, not one to produce a large amount of counterfeit notes," he said.

Mahadi was sentenced to six years and nine months' jail and three strokes of the cane in July 2022 for counterfeiting money and drug-related offences.

For counterfeiting currency or using counterfeit currency as genuine money, an offender can be jailed for up to 20 years and fined.