Two men from Liberia and Sierra Leone were arrested on Monday in Sihanoukville province over a $1.8 million counterfeiting operation after police were alerted to another scam the duo were allegedly running.
Emmitt Darbey, 41, a Liberian national, and Foday Kamara, 38, from Sierra Leone, allegedly tricked Japanese national Tanaka Shinya, 61, into handing over $3,000 as a donation to the Cambodian Red Cross, which they said would help Shinya establish a new business with them.
Seang Kosal, Preah Sihanouk provincial police chief, said the alleged counterfeiting scheme was uncovered after Tanaka filed a complaint to the authorities over the $3,000 “donation” scam.
The business was purportedly to import goods from the Bahamas, Kosal said, but the only goods the suspects intended to import was the paper they could use to make the fake bills.
According to police, they found chemicals used in the process of making fake dollar bills and stacks of paper, which was to be used to make $100, $50 and $10 denominations.
“They had tools used for counterfeiting dollars, such as the paper,” Kosal said. “We arrested them, and they also cheated the Japanese victim.”
Chat Sorasmey, the provincial court prosecutor, said that the police had already transferred the case to the courts for charges to be brought against the two men.
“They were sent to be detained by the court for investigation and processing,” she said.
Cambodia ranked third in a global index that measures susceptibility to money laundering and terrorist funding last year, behind only Iran and Afghanistan.