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Funny money floats on north end of Okinawa

Date Posted: 2004-07-22

Funny money, phony money, counterfeit money. By whatever name, attempts are being made to pass some crude homemade ¥10,000 notes.

In Nago City, the victim was a bookstore, where a small boy purchased game software with a phony ¥10,000 bill. The clerk didn’t notice while the elementary school age boy was in the store, but did, after he left.

“Oh my god. It’s the phony ¥10,000 bill,” she said. “Hey boy. Wait!” The clerk ran outside, but the boy was gone, along with the game and the ¥1,500 change.

The bill was a copy of the real ¥10,000 note, with surface and reverse sides pasted together. It’s reportedly thicker than real money. The 21-year-old clerk called police, who are now looking for the boy.

In Gushikawa, another attempt was made to pass the counterfeit money, but an alert supermarket clerk unnerved the would-be crook and challenged him.

The clerk said the money was “kind of funny color, and the touch in my hand was something strange.” The clerk told the Asian customer to wait while she took the money to her manager.

The customer, described as ‘foreign looking’, balked and told the clerk he’d pay with coins. He brought ¥155 from his car to pay for the snacks, then fled. Police were called, and the clerk described the man as 170-175cm tall, wearing black cap and jeans. He speaks Japanese.

And in Okinawa City, the man reportedly tried again, once more trying his hand at a supermarket. Again, the clerk didn’t bite, and called police. The clerk described the would-be counterfeit bill passer as the same as the one in Gushikawa, so police suspect it’s the work of one individual.

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