Police said 43-year-old Zhang Liangcheng, an experienced printer, rented the house in the name of "setting up a printing house". He hired the two other suspects - 27-year-old Zhang Junlin and 23-year-old Yang Tao - paying each of the printers 50,000 yuan per run. Cui Yunzhi, 35, was the landlord of the den as well as Zhang Liangcheng's cousin, police said. Cui leased his place to Zhang for 800 yuan per month. Cui stumbled upon the operation when the group was printing fake notes last October. Zhang Liangcheng convinced him to let them keep the place for another month, promising 100,000 yuan in compensation.
Since production began last September, the group had forged 210 million yuan in three production runs. The first two batches, with a total face value of 140 million yuan, had been transported to and sold in Guangdong, police said. Police also captured Ou Xiaofang, Zhang Liangcheng's wife, as well as Wu Junfa and Wusheng, both Zhang's friends in Guangdong, who allegedly helped provide forging materials and sell the fake notes.
Counterfeiting is a widespread problem in China with banks and businesses routinely on the lookout for phony bills. Last year, Chinese police seized 1.17 billion yuan in fake banknotes in a 10-month campaign against counterfeiting, arresting nearly 6,000 suspects, according to state media reports.
Source: China Daily, Associated Press.