‘Super-notes’ JI and Nokor linked?
By Mike Cohen
Manila – Officials in the region are worried that North Korea may be financing regional terrorist groups in Asia using “mass produced high quality Super-Note forgeries and fakes of US and other currencies” A senior counter-terrorism official in Asia says, “increasingly we are seeing a link between the Korean fake notes, and groups like Jemaah Islamaih and Al Qaeda backed groups in Asia.”
“Ideologically the groups are opposites” the regime in Pyongyang and the groups who operate in the Southern Philippines do “share” things in common and “trade” in other ways “Arms made in North Korea are often found in camps of the extremists and also there are reports of Methamphetamine “crack” and “Ice” produced in large quantities allegedly in North Korea and Burma; "Being sold by the Extremists groups who are strapped for cash.” The official who requested anonymity said
Super-sized notes: 2.8 Million served
North Korea is producing millions in “Fake Greenbacks” and other currencies and continues to spread them throughout the world to cover its shortfall in foreign exchange as well as to fund terrorist groups and purchase arms and other items clandestinely across the globe. The South Korean based Korea Times reports.
The Bills called “Super-notes”, since 1989 where first discovered by the Central Bank of the Philippines, US officials say the problem “Is an ongoing strategic case with national security implications.” .
“A U.S. secret service official claimed Tuesday his agency has made “definitive'' connections between North Korea and its counterfeiting of U.S. currencies, saying Washington has confiscated “Super-notes'' worth $2.8 million on a yearly basis.” The Korea times said in a report posted on its website based on testimony given in Washington last week.
“The Super-notes” A US Treasury report on the Super-notes says “Are printed using the same methods the U.S. Bureau of Engraving uses to produce genuine notes,.”
Michael Merritt, a deputy assistant director of the U.S. office, which investigates counterfeiting offenses, said during a Senate hearing in Washington, D.C.; that “North Korea also uses paper that has similar security features, including special fibers, threads and watermarks.” In the Korea times report. “Providing a frame of reference, he said the Secret Service seized over $113 million in counterfeit U.S. currency during the 2005 fiscal year.”
“High-quality, counterfeit $100 U.S. bills allegedly produced by North Korea are collectively referred to as super-notes.” The US officials say “Our investigation has revealed that super-notes continue to be produced and distributed from sources operating out of North Korea,’’
Korean Won, Euro, Japanese Yen also "Super-sized"
But the further other regional and International currencies are also coming out of the North Korean “Super Fakes” treasury units from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East but he declined to give estimates to reporters as the extent of the spread of the fakes of other currencies targeted by Pyongyang.
“Super-notes” Merritt says are detectable with minimal training. adding that; “There are also machines which are commercially available that can detect the Super-note,'' he claims.
In Asia; regional Terrorism analysts are worried as the presence of “super-notes” increasingly are found in the money changer shops and along the drug trails they believe where the Terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah is working "An indication of trade links – but not formal ties between regional militant extremists and the regime in Pyongyang.”
A simple “rogues-alliance” and does not indicate formal support of each other the official said. The notes are believed to used along the lines of the former Baathist regime in Iraq which also flooded many parts of the middle east with fake U.S. Dollars and other currencies during the Gulf War to pay-off small groups for support. The Iraqi action, then in part led to a major redesign of the US currency in 1991 after the spread of "Saddam Dollars" were uncovered in 1990.