China busts huge counterfeit ring
Beijing - Police in central China have arrested four men suspected of forging $31m in fake bills in the nation's single biggest counterfeiting bust, state media said on Friday.
The four suspects had been allegedly printing the fake banknotes out of a three-storey house in the city of Hengyang in Hunan province since August last year, the China Daily said.
The paper said the forgery operation was the biggest ever cracked by police in China to date.
Police first discovered 67 million yuan in fake bills on April 27 in the southern province of Guangdong, and traced the money to the house where nine million yuan of counterfeit notes were seized three days later, it said.
The four counterfeiters allegedly printed 210 million yuan in fake notes in three printing runs, it added.
Counterfeiting is a widespread problem in China with banks and businesses routinely on the lookout for phony bills.
Last year, Chinese police seized 1.17 billion yuan in fake banknotes in a 10-month campaign against counterfeiting, arresting nearly 6 000 suspects, according to state media reports.