Trio used fake $100 notes to get change in real money

Nur Qairulnisha Rosmani, one of the three accused of buying items with counterfeit $100 notes to obtain change in real currencies.
Nur Qairulnisha Rosmani, one of the three accused of buying items with counterfeit $100 notes to obtain change in real currencies.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A woman used fake $100 notes to buy items such as cigarettes, sweets and a phone top-up card to obtain change of more than $170 in real money.

She was part of a group of three friends who used counterfeit notes at various convenience stores and coffee shops on small items, in return for large sums of change.

Yesterday, Zafirah Aziz, 20, was sentenced to 12 months in the Reformative Training Centre (RTC).

She had earlier pleaded guilty to four charges of possessing and conspiring to use counterfeit notes. Ten more similar charges were taken into consideration during her sentencing.

RTC, meant for those between 14 and 21 years old, requires the young offender to be detained in a structured environment for at least six months.

Court papers showed that Zafirah and her two friends, Nor Shafiyana Iswady, 20, and Nur Qairulnisha Rosmani, 17, conspired to spend the counterfeit notes in July, after Shafiyana agreed to spend the notes for someone named Muhammad Faiz Sapi'ee, 27.

The relationship between Muhammad Faiz and Shafiyana was not stated.

Shafiyana was to pay Muhammad Faiz $50 for every fake $100 note she used, and Zafirah and Qairulnisha were to help her spend them.

The trio used the fake notes at various minimarts and coffee shops in Woodlands and Hougang, buying items such as cigarettes, drinks and sweets.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACTIONS

You made the decision to join your friends... you have to bear the consequences.

DISTRICT JUDGE MAY MESENAS, addressing Zafirah Aziz after she pleaded for leniency.

On one occasion, Zafirah went into a 7-Eleven store in Woodlands, and used her fake $100 note to buy a $10 top-up card, taking back $90 of change in real currency notes.

On July 28, Shafiyana and Muhammad Faiz struck another deal, where Shafiyana was to give him all the cash "proceeds" from using the fake notes in exchange for drugs.

Later that day, Zafirah and Shafiyana went to two minimarts in Woodlands to buy drinks, sweets and cigarettes with two fake $100 notes. They kept the items, but gave the change, which was more than $87.60, to Muhammad Faiz.

However, the trio were caught on July 29, when police officers raided the flat they were living in and found several counterfeit $100 notes. They had at least seven such notes with them, having spent five previously.

 
 

During her sentencing yesterday, Zafirah - who was unrepresented - pleaded for leniency, and said she was very sorry for her actions.

But District Judge May Mesenas said she still had to take responsibility for her actions.

"You made the decision to join your friends... you have to bear the consequences," said the judge.

Shafiyana, Qairulnisha and Muhammad Faiz will be dealt with in court at a later date.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2018, with the headline 'Trio used fake $100 notes to get change in real money'. Print Edition | Subscribe