Fake $50 bills: Man jailed for five years

Uthya Kumaran admitted to five charges and had another five taken into consideration during sentencing.
Uthya Kumaran admitted to five charges and had another five taken into consideration during sentencing.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

He produced 24 notes with printer copier and other materials, using four of them to buy drinks and food

After buying a colour printer copier, a man began to make colour photocopies of $50 notes, using nail polish, an enamel pen, highlighters, watercolour pens and colour pencils, among other things.

Uthya Kumaran Thangaiyan, 53, had planned to use the fake $50 bills at convenience stores and fast- food restaurants.

He produced 24 of the $50 bills at his home in Hougang Avenue 8 in May last year. He used four of them to buy drinks and food but was caught a day later.

He was sentenced to five years' jail on Monday after admitting to five charges - two for forging Singapore currency, one for using a counterfeit $50 bill as genuine currency to buy beverages at a Cheers outlet, one for having 20 fake $50 bills and one for having instruments and materials for counterfeiting currency notes. Another five charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that some time in May last year, Uthya Kumaran bought a colour printer copier from a shop with the intention of photocopying $50 notes.

He photocopied the front and back of a $50 note on A4 paper using the colour printer copier and then cut it out.

He then used silver nail polish to paint the kinegram on the front of the photocopied note, and a silver enamel pen to mark out the vertical security thread on the back.

He also used highlighters, watercolour pens and colour pencils to brighten the colours and enhance the images of the note to make it look real.

On May 25 last year, he used a fake note to pay for two drinks totalling $1.80 at a Cheers store in Hougang Street 91. He received change from the cashier.

He later used another fake note at the store.

He then bought food at a McDonald's restaurant in the same street for $3.25 and for $2.95 half an hour later that same evening - with two other fake notes.

The next day, the Cheers store manager discovered a fake note while counting the earnings for the previous day. She called the police.

Uthya Kumaran was arrested by the police later that day near Block 653, Hougang Avenue 8.

He was found in possession of 20 fake $50 notes.

Police searched his home and found the printer copier, a stack of A4 paper and other items used to produce the fake bills.

Uthya Kumaran could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined on each of the charges, except possession of forged currency, which carries a jail term of up to 15 years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2017, with the headline 'Fake $50 bills: Man jailed for five years'. Print Edition | Subscribe