Friday, January 19, 2007

Palestinian Arabs forging Israeli money

But the forged coins are so bad, the victims seem to be their own people, not Israel.

From Maan News:
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Many Palestinian merchants and store keepers have confirmed that the Israeli five shekel coin is easily forged and is widespread in the Palestinian territories. However, it can be easily identified.

Ma'an News Agency has acquired one of these forged pieces, which are now spreading throughout the occupied Palestinian territories. The coin can be identified easily because, although it appears almost perfectly shaped, it seems to be made from copper which is apparent when scratched.

This phenomenon of forged 5 shekel coins is going to mainly affect those Palestinians of low income as better off Palestinians and businessmen do not require such small change. Five Israeli shekels is a little over one US dollar.

A 15-year-old boy told Ma'an that he felt so ashamed when he went to buy something from a shop and he was told by the shopkeeper that the coin was forged.

Another local man told Ma'an that a Palestinian criminal gang travelled to China and asked a local factory to fabricate a large quantity of these coins. They then brought these forged coins to the Palestinian territories, the man said. However, no official source has been able to confirm this.

Ma'an News Agency is endeavouring to obtain official answers from the relevant official departments, especially in regards to advice for ordinary people who acquire such coins.