14ymedio, Havana, March 14, 2023 — Three people were arrested in Sancti Spíritus for selling counterfeit dollars, but the report published on Tuesday in the official press suggests that there may be more involved in the scheme.
According to Escambray, the detainees earned about 160,000 pesos [$1,000]* for each operation, using counterfeit $100 bills. The provincial newspaper also says that each victim was given between 800 and 1,500 of these dollars at the exchange rate on the informal market (between 160 and 170 pesos per dollar), and for each transaction the profit was between 128,000 pesos [$800] and 255,000 pesos [$1,594].
Four people were affected, the newspaper continues, and it asks readers for help in finding other possible victims.
The scammers, accused of the crime of counterfeiting, advertised themselves as a couple through the Revolico classified ads portal, and once the potential victim was contacted, they were sent to a fake Facebook profile.
Using Messenger and a phone number, says Escambray, served to establish “a climate of greater trust.” For transactions, the woman used to go to the homes of those who wanted to buy. “She always tried to look friendly and dressed in a sporty style; to hide her identity she wore glasses and a backpack. But the final convincing touch was that she wore a doctor’s gown to the meetings,” says the provincial newspaper, which does not specify the presumption of innocence that should apply to every accused. “She arrived on time like a Swiss watch; sometimes on a bicycle and at others in a rented car. Now in the victim’s home, she did her job so well that none of the ’customers’ stopped to look closely at the American bills they had just bought.” The serial number was the same on each one: ME42703207A.
Escambray continues the story by quoting a source in the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of the Interior: “Once the victim was swindled, the accused returned home to safely call the supplier of the counterfeit bills. She then gave him between 20,000 and 50,000 pesos [$125-$312], depending on the amount sold, as a reward for getting away with the scam.”
*Using the rate of 160 pesos to one dollar.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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