betty July 18, 2022

SINGAPORE – When an acquaintance from a halfway house suggested printing counterfeit $100 notes to buy contraband cigarettes, Mahadi Ab Latif, 45, agreed to help him.

The duo forged $18,500 in total – the largest sum of fake $100 local notes recovered by the police in a single case.

Mahadi, who was a driver at the time of his arrest, found an empty warehouse for the operation and assisted with cutting the notes with a penknife.

The Singaporean was sentenced to six years and nine months’ jail and three strokes of the cane on Monday (July 18), after pleading guilty to one count of engaging in a conspiracy to forge currency notes and two charges under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Of his sentence, the punishment for forging currency notes was a year and nine months’ jail.

The court heard that Mahadi met his co-accused, Muhammad Farhan Farus, at a halfway house that provides treatment for substance abusers.

Farhan has been charged in court and is set to plead guilty on Aug 18. One of his charges includes using a counterfeit note to pay for sex enhancement pills valued at $20.

On June 28 last year, Farhan told Mahadi of his plan to print fake money to buy illegal cigarettes after he found a template for such notes on his laptop.

Mahadi told Farhan that he did not have a contact person for contraband cigarettes but wanted some of the fake notes for his own use.

He proposed using an empty warehouse in Changi he had previously come across during delivery jobs. Farhan would prepare the equipment including a printer, laptop, papers and printer ink.

Between June 28 and July 2 last year, they printed 185 pieces of counterfeit $100 notes.

Court documents did not state if the fake notes were used or how the duo got caught.

When Mahadi was arrested on July 5, methamphetamine was found on him. He was also found to have consumed the drug.

The maximum penalty for forging counterfeit notes is a 20-year jail term and a fine.

Mahadi could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined $20,000 for possessing methamphetamine. For consuming the drug, he could have been jailed up to seven years and received up to six strokes of the cane.