This article from the Asia Sentinel is a must read for anyone remotely interested in the North Korean counterfeiting of US currency. The reporters travel to China to see if they find North Korean supernotes. This is what they found:
These days there is also a reasonable facsimile of another famous American crossing the river in the opposite direction Benjamin Franklin. If you’ve got the connections here, and they aren’t hard to find, you can easily encounter Franklin’s enigmatic face for about US$50 on a reasonable copy of a US $100 bill. These presumably Pyongyang-printed Big-Head Benjamins are known worldwide as â€œsupernotes.
We know. We bought one.
So where did these reporters buy these supernotes, right in the open of course:
Our supernote purchase $100, US Series 2003, serial number DI03120777A (acquired strictly for purposes of this story) took place literally within the shadow of the China Bank of Communications. The bank is directly across the street from the Dandong office of China Customs, which in turn is next to a People’s Liberation Army facility as is the Dandong Police headquarters. Coincidentally, the transaction also took place on the afternoon of Kim’s 65th birthday, February 16.
So where did the supernotes come from you may ask?:
At first he said he got them accidentally from various foreign tourists who were changing them for yuan. Were the tourists from North Korea? He shrugged and smiled and said perhaps some had relatives or friends over there across the mighty Yalu. But after asking if he could sell one or two more, he quickly left on his bicycle after taking a brief mobile phone call.
Make sure you read the whole article, very interesting read about this illegal activity happening quite openly in China with little effort by Chinese authorities to stop it. Maybe it is time someone starts printing Chinese yuan to start spreading around and see how the Chinese government likes that.
HT: Simon World