| CURITIBA, Brazil – A man in southern Brazil walked into a police station and confessed that he bought R$80,000 reals ($43,000 USD) in counterfeit cash while visiting Paraguay. Merchant Oseias Bernardo said that he purchased the bogus notes on a whim, but came to regret his actions and decided to turn the money into police.
R$78,000 reals in counterfeit cash (Photo: meionorte.com)
According to detective Valdir Samparo, who is conducting the investigation, between Paraguay and Mandaguaçu – where Bernardo turned the money in – he spent R$2,000 ($1,100 USD) of the counterfeit cash. Police believe that that money entered the local economy.
Bernardo explained that he bought the money in Paraguay to help pay debts. He said that he paid R$8,000 reals ($4,300 USD) for the crisp new counterfeit bills. According to the police, the quality of the banknotes is very crude, as they are of irregular size and the paper is smoother than that of genuine banknotes.
The detective explains that Bernardo will be charged with the crime of forgery and faces 3 to 12 years in prison if convicted. However, since he turned himself in and surrendered the bogus cash, he will remain free pending his date in court.
According to Bernardo, he was driven to desperate measures by creditors. He said that he owned two auto dealerships in Mandaguaçu but they went under last year, leaving him deeply in debt. He visited neighboring Paraguay and, he told Folha de Sao Paulo: “people see that you are Brazilian and they start shoving false notes in your face and offering them to you for 10 centavos on the real.”
”It felt good handling so much money, because I was feeling like crap, before,” the merchant told Folha. “But the money drove me crazy, I wanted to get rid of it so badly. It took me 20 days to build up the courage to take the money to the police station.”
The Mandaguaçu detective, Valdir Samparo, said he will refer the case to the Federal Police to investigate the origin of the cash.
Source(s) for this article: meionorte.com/Folha de Sao Paulo