By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan National Security Service (NSS) has arrested 14 suspects, including chairman of the Liberian community in South Sudan for being in possession of counterfeit or fake currencies worth over 93 million U.S dollars.
The National Security described them as a ‘Network of Criminals’ dealing in possession of various counterfeit monies and other illegal possessions.
However, the suspects denied knowledge of any criminal network in the country.
Among the suspects arrested are, one Liberian, one Guinea Bissau nationals and 12 South Sudanese nationals.
The Director of Public Relations at the National Security Service, David John Kumuri says the criminals were also caught in possession of stolen cars, rickshaws and motorbikes.
Kumuri said they seized 88 million fake dollars, powdered chemicals, and uniforms of organized forces in the country.
“The team manage to apprehend an amount of 88, 000,000 black USD Dollar 5,071,000 incomplete US Dollar and 400,000 [$1000] notes South Sudanese pounds, as well as chemical producing powders and other ingredients,” Kumuri told reporters in Juba on Thursday.
According to National security some of the counterfeit money is said to be injected into the country’s economy.
“The second operations yield apprehension of stolen items which include 3 rickshaws, 2 Toyota Premios and 1 Van guard’s vehicles and 6 motorcycles,” he added.
The criminals allegedly robbed vehicles and monies at gunpoint from the owners.
One of the suspects, a Liberian national, Victor Beka Nyeka, also chair of Liberians in South Sudan, since 2010 said he was being doing the business for about seven years in South Sudan.
Nyeka was arrested in 2014 and released linked to the same business.
“Because I need the money and I am suffering, I agree to wash fake dollars. I can not be hungry when I can wash the dollars or have chemicals to sell,” said Nyeka.
According to the South Sudan Penal Code of 2008, faking money or owning of instruments and materials for purpose of using it are national security crime.
Therefore, it says anyone who is found guilty is liable to imprisonment of not more than seven years and may also be liable to a fine.
Kumuri said investigations are under way and then the suspects apprehended will be arraigned in court.
The National security also announced that whoever has lost his or her property among those seized should report to the police station and identify them.