Quinte West coin expert says more action needed to stop counterfeit toonies

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A nationally known coin expert who lives in Quinte West says the confiscation of 10,000 counterfeit two-dollar coins in Richmond Hill by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is a good start, but more needs to be done. stem the rising tide of counterfeit money.

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Mike Marshall, an authority on Canadian coinage, said the best estimates are that the fake toonies currently circulating in the Canadian market could exceed 20 million coins and that only a recall of a few years of legitimate coin production will remove the counterfeits. of the market.

The latest arrest will do little to stop the influx of counterfeit coins from 2006, 2007 and now 2010 that coin experts say are flooding the Canadian market from Asia, he said. he declares.

The latest fake coins are easily identified, he said, by a split in the polar bear’s right paw compared to the real toonies on which all four toes of the bear’s right foot are together, Marshall said. who collects coins and speaks at coin conventions. for three decades.

“The confiscation of 10,000 coins is a drop in the ocean of the influx of this thing over the last 24 to 36 months. There are millions out there,” Marshall said.

Marshall said he and his numismatic colleagues — those who collect paper money and coins — first alerted federal authorities in 2020 that a new batch of counterfeit two-dollar coins were infiltrating the system. currency of the country.

To check the validity of his concerns, The Intelligencer accompanied Marshall in February 2021 to a Trenton bank in Quinte West where he exchanged paper for six rolls of 25 toonies.

Three of the coins provided by the bank were found to be fakes after examining each coin.

In an interview Wednesday, Marshall said he hoped more substantial arrests of suspected counterfeiters would have been in play by now after complaints to police and the Royal Canadian Mint, which produces all Canadian coins.

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He was upset that the RCMP made no mention this week in a news release about the coin seizure of efforts by the Canadian coin-collecting community to alert federal officials to the counterfeit dollar problem.

Ordinary Canadians lose money every time a convenience store owner or ordinary citizen takes their change to the bank and counterfeits are found with no refund, he said.

“And the little guy who has a convenience store? If he makes a deposit in the bank and the bank starts confiscating those things like they’re supposed to, there’s no reward, he’s lost the money,” Marshall said.

Federal police, meanwhile, said in a news release on Monday that 10,000 counterfeit toonies had been confiscated following a summer 2021 investigation by the RCMP.

The investigation led the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Transnational Serious and Organized Crime Section (TSOC) to charge Daixiong He, 68, of Richmond Hill, with uttering counterfeit currency contrary to section 452 of the Criminal Code; and Possession of counterfeit money, contrary to section 450 of the Criminal Code.

Mr. He was arrested and released on recognizance with an order to appear for a first appearance in the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on June 2.

“These criminal charges reflect the RCMP’s determination to preserve the integrity of the Canadian monetary system. The RCMP is committed to working with the Royal Canadian Mint, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), FINTRAC, banks and municipal law enforcement partners to combat illicit efforts that target Canada’s economic system said Supt. Ann Koenig, district commander of the GTA-TSOC section.

James Malizia, Vice President, Corporate Security at the Royal Canadian Mint, said that “the unique characteristics of Canadian circulation coins make them one of the most secure in the world and allow these coins to be quickly identified and removed.” traffic counterfeits. The Royal Canadian Mint will continue to work closely with financial institutions and the RCMP to ensure the integrity of Canada’s coinage supply.

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