Counterfeiting of banknotes more than double in 4 years

SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Yonhap) -- Counterfeiting of banknotes more than doubled in South Korea between 2008 and last year as electronics devices have become more sophisticated amid an economic slump, a lawmaker said Saturday.

Counterfeit bills reported to police totaled 8,202 cases last year, a 225 percent rise from 3,644 cases in 2008, said Rep. Kim Hyun of the main opposition Democratic Party, citing data submitted by the National Police Agency.

Suspects were apprehended in 265 counterfeit cases last year, a 145 percent rise from 182 cases in 2008, though the number of arrested people rose only slightly to 2,893 last year from 2,877 in 2008, according to the lawmaker.

Forged notes reported to police this year totaled 3,024 cases, she said.

Kim said counterfeit crimes appear to be increasing as electronics devices, such as printers and scanners, become more sophisticated amid the prolonged economic slump.

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