54-year-old Thai woman met the undercover policeman at a local station and showed off her product and even showed part of the counterfeiting process. Then the police arrived. US dollars with a face value of ฿16.6 million were found at the scene.

A Thai woman in Chiang Rai City in northern Thailand was exposed this week as being involved in the counterfeiting of US currency when she was arrested by Thai police in an undercover sting operation. The man she was selling the illicit product to turned out to be the Superintendent of the local police division.

The undercover operation unearthed ฿16.6 million of US dollar currency and led to the arrest of one local Thai woman. Thai police conducted the sting operation led by Police Colonel Wachira Phayanoi who posed as an interested buyer.

Thai police in the centre of Chiang Rai have arrested a 54-year-old Thai woman in connection with counterfeit $100 notes. An undercover operation launched by police in the area uncovered what appears to be substantial links to a US dollar counterfeiting operation at the Thai woman’s home.

Chaing Rai woman’s house searched on foot of a court order obtained after suspicion confirmed

The arrest of the Thai woman named by police as Masaras Nitisakyothin occurred after police officers searched her home on foot of a warrant obtained from a local court. There they found a metal box full of $100 US banknotes. The box contained nearly 5,000 notes with a face value of ฿15 million approximately. Police found over 500 similar notes in a second box which were worth ฿1.6 million baht.

Blackened notes part of the process of counterfeiting revealed on the 2nd floor of the house

The search also revealed blackened notes in the process of being counterfeited which needed to be cleaned down by chemicals in a process called washing. The success of the police operation was down to the derring-do of the Superintendent for the local police division.

Woman identified as a prime suspect

Police Colonel Wachira Phayanoi is the Superintendent of the 32nd Border Patrol Police Division. Intelligence sources suggested that US counterfeit currency was for sale in the Chiang Rai area that originated in tambon Rim Kok. The Thai woman was identified as a suspect.

Senior officer posed a counterfeit currency buyer

The senior police officer contacted the woman posing as a would-be purchaser of the currency for real money at a discount. She agreed to meet him at a local service station. There, Colonel Wachira acted in such a fashion that the woman felt confident in later bringing him to her home and showing him not only samples of counterfeit US dollar bills but also the counterfeiting activity including chemicals to wash the banknotes. This was located on the second floor of her house.

Alerted police to seek a court warrant

During this time, Colonel Wachira signalled his team to apply for a valid search warrant. At length, he revealed himself to the woman as a police officer and the house was subsequently searched.

The woman was arrested and charged initially with being in possession of counterfeit currency. She was taken into custody and will face further questioning.