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Phuket police arrest British national for exchanging fake notes

PHOTO: MGR Online

And there is an arrest warrant out for another British citizen as well.

A British national has been arrested in Phuket, accused of exchanging counterfeit Euro bank notes at several exchange kiosks on the island. It’s understood his accomplice has already fled the country.

Khaosod English reports that 33 year old Tobias Drew was detained after exchanging fake currency in the districts of Kathu, Thalang, Mueang and Sakoo.

The matter came to light after 50 year old Janjira Laowlang filed a report with Sakoo Police, claiming the Briton had exchanged 1,000 euros for 37,850 baht. She subsequently realised the notes he gave her were fake.

Officers managed to track down Drew, arresting him on Wednesday, February 7. They also seized counterfeit currency consisting of 89 bogus €200 bills, 272 fake £20 bills, fifty-four £10 bills, in addition to 198 1,000-baht bills, one 500-baht bill, and five 100-baht bills.

PHOTO: MGR Online

According to the report, Drew entered Thailand on December 2, 2023, extending his stay until January 31, 2024. He met with fellow Briton, 46 year old Ozeias Da Silva, on February 1. Both men stayed at the MBC Condotel, in the sub-district of Mai Khao.

Drew told police that on February 5, he transferred 1.24 million baht in cryptocurrency to Da Silva. In exchange, he says he received two hundred €200 bills, some of which he exchanged for Thai baht at Ms Janjira’s bureau de change.

Police say Drew exchanged 1,000 euros in Kamala and again in Kathu on February 7.

Da Silva exchanged 3,000 euros at three different facilities in the northern district of Thalang the same day, before fleeing the country. Officers are now attempting to trace Da Silva’s whereabouts in an attempt to prosecute him.

Meanwhile, Drew is being charged with using counterfeit money under Section 240 and forgery under Section 241 of the Thai Penal Code. The charges carry a penalty of up to 15 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 300,000 baht.

Drew denies the charges.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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