Singapore man evades harsh sentence after printing counterfeit currency notes

Authorities say the man could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined on each charge.

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Photo illustration of bank notes and coins of various currencies including the Singapore dollar. Reuters

A 29-year-old man was jailed for three and a half years on Thursday for using fake $100 currency notes to pay for cigarettes and creating a counterfeit $50 note. Sasi Kumar Lakshmanan, who faced four charges, pleaded guilty to using a fake $100 note to pay for $22 worth of cigarettes at a coffee shop in Lorong Lew Lian. He also pleaded guilty for making a $50 note at his home.

According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Magdalene Huang, Sasi Kumar was going through financial problems and had owed more than $5,000 loan. Hence, he decided to print some counterfeit currency notes hoping to solve his problem.

On July 11, he printed a $100 note and realized that the colour of the photocopied $100 note was almost similar to that of the genuine one. Then, he adjusted the colour and made five to six copes of the $100 note, finally producing a photocopied $100 note that closely resembled the genuine note.

He produced one of those fake $100 notes at Foodpark coffee shop at Block 2 Lorong Lew Lian to pay for two packets of cigarettes totalling $21.80 the next day. The rest of the change was taken by him.

Later, the fake note was discovered by a stall supervisor in the coffee shop cash register. On July 13, the supervisor made a police report for the fake note.

In response to the report, police raided Sasi Kumar's house in Lorong Lew Lian and found the fake $50 note. In his mitigation plea, Sasi Kumar said had just joined a job where he is doing deliveries for a friend.

While giving the final verdict, two other charges of using a fake $100 note and having instruments for making those were also taken into consideration. Experts said there were possibilities of him being jailed for up to 20 years and fined on each charge.