10 Nov 2005

Four Fiji Indians arrested in Vanuatu over forged banknotes

3:22 pm on 10 November 2005

Vanuatu police have arrested four Fiji Indians in connection to the discovery of forged 5,000 vatu notes in shops and restaurants.

Two men who are in police custody were arrested in the Northern town of Luganville while two women who are on bail were picked up from their hotel.

The counterfeit notes were discovered by shop assistants as well as a bar and nightclub over the weekend when the police were alerted.

Criminal Investigation team leader George Toomey says the two arrested in their hotel had counterfeit notes with the same serial numbers as those confiscated in the night club and shops.

The suspects have denied any production of counterfeit notes, saying they were from the Western Union.

The manager of Western Union has denied issuing such notes.

He reportedly alerted his staff to double check the travel documents of the four after they ordered a huge sum of money and his staff had to go to the bank to get it.

The Manager says the notes, which were issued to them, were all genuine.