Stawell's alleged counterfeiters caught

Police from Ararat, Stawell, Northern Grampians Highway Patrol, Northern Grampians Family Violence Unit and Ararat Crime Investigation Unit were all involved in the raid at Stawell on Saturday morning.

Police from Ararat, Stawell, Northern Grampians Highway Patrol, Northern Grampians Family Violence Unit and Ararat Crime Investigation Unit were all involved in the raid at Stawell on Saturday morning.

THREE people have been arrested and fake notes and counterfeiting equipment seized following a police raid in Stawell on Saturday morning.

The raid on the Gertrude street property was the culmination of a prolonged investigation into the circulation of counterfeit money in the region.

Police from Ararat, Stawell, Northern Grampians Highway Patrol, Northern Grampians Family Violence Unit and Ararat Crime Investigation Unit were all involved in the raid which occurred just after 9am.

Three people were arrested at the scene and subsequently interviewed at the Stawell Police station over the matter.

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Whilst one person, a 50-year-old Stawell man was eventually released, two others were refused bail and remanded in custody.

Of the two remanded, one was a 17-year-old Stawell male.

He was charged with 12 offences including obtain property by deception and produce counterfeit money.

He will appear at a children's court at a later date.

The other alleged offender, a 20-year-old Stawell woman has been charged with 16 offences including obtain property by deception and produce counterfeit money.

She will face the Ballarat Magistates' Court on Monday.

The 50-year-old Stawell man was charged with three offences including obtain property by deception and produce counterfeit money.

He was released on bail to appear at the Stawell Magistrates' Court on January 7, 2015.

Several items were also seized including 24 counterfeit notes of various denominations totalling $1220.

Equipment used in the production of those notes was also taken by investigators.

Police Sergeant Kris Hamilton said the arrests followed a five week influx of reports of counterfeit money in the western region.

"Police have been advised of at least 10 incidents in Horsham, 10 in Stawell and eight in Ararat," he said

"The total value of these 28 reported incidents exceeds $2000. 

"Unfortunately intelligence suggests the circulation of these counterfeit notes has not been restricted to the western region and after consulting with the Australian Federal Police people are warned to be vigilant when dealing with cash. 

"Make sure you check the notes integrity by analysing its characteristics. Should any thing appear abnormal, contact police immediately."

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