Dear Leader financing his regime through counterfeit $100 bills
Washington Times Weekly Edition
: ". He said investigations are proceeding.
Balbina Hwang, a researcher at the Heritage Foundation, says the North Korean government has been making and circulating forged $100 bills for more than a decade.
ÂThey produce some of the best quality supernotes,Â she says, adding that the North Koreans make $250 million a year from the bills.
The British Broadcasting Corp. reported last year that North Korea is producing supernotes with a high-quality printing press known as Intaglio, similar to presses used by the United States to print its currency. The BBC said it learned of the North Korean role from a defector from Pyongyang.
The counterfeiting profits support the North Korean governmentÂs drug trafficking, money laundering and gambling, Miss Hwang says. On a strategic level, the North Koreans think that circulating supernotes will help destabilize Western economies, she says, noting that the U.S. Treasury redesigned the $100 bill in part because of North Korean counterfeiting.
China is linked to the counterfeiting by North Korean use of Chinese territory and criminal gangs, she says. The Beijing government is probably aware of the official role in North Korean counterfeiting and is not doing enough to stop it.
According to the indictment, Mr. Wu told an undercover FBI agent posing as a buyer of fake bills that he could provide $1 million in high-quality counterfeit $100 bills and arranged for the agent to telegraph a payment of $25,000 to another man, who has been charged in the case in a third country."