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Russians used fake currency, police say

Two Russian men stand accused of circulating counterfeit currency after they allegedly tried to pay for food with suspect bills, according to police, who say this isn’t the first time.

Aleksei Nesterenko, 34, and Baydakov Denis, 30, were arrested on Saturday after buying food at a market in Mittapheap district in Preah Sihanouk province, said Provincial Anti-Economic Crime Director Chov Meng.

Nesterenko and Denis were first caught with counterfeit bills on January 12, Meng said, but police decided not to arrest them in favour of procuring a signed contract stating that they would not distribute the “money”. They were suspected again of using the currency on Friday, but only after a shop owner complained to police on Saturday about receiving fake money for goods, the men were arrested and found in possession of $240 in counterfeit cash.

“The first case was not forwarded to the court, but the authorities just advised them and had them sign a contract promising not to repeat the crime,” Meng said. “However, they used fake money to buy food and fruit from poor people in Preah Sihanouk province on January 31.”

Both suspects are being held in the provincial prison, awaiting trial.

The arrest of the Russian suspects coincided with that of Sos Vy, 35, whom police accuse of spending counterfeit money at the Ampor Voan Prek Chomlak Pagoda complex in Kratie province’s Chhlong district.

When arrested, Vy was in possession of $320 in fake $20 notes, Chhlong district police chief Duong Sothy said yesterday.

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