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Fake money still circulating in Australia: police

11-25-2010 16:10 BJT

SYDNEY, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Police urged the public on Thursday to be careful when dealing with 50 Australian dollar notes after thousands of counterfeit notes were seized in raids in Sydney and in the United States.

Fake banknotes are still in circulation and being dispensed at automated teller machines (ATMs) around Australia after police netted almost 400,000 AU dollars (391,600 U.S. dollars) in "high quality" forged cash linked to bikie gangs,

Three large commercial printing machines, more than 800 counterfeit 50 dollar notes and cocaine worth 1.05 million AU dollars (1.03 million U.S. dollars) was seized during raids in Sydney's eastern and south-western suburbs on Wednesday.

Six men were arrested in Sydney and one in the United States as police dismantled an organized crime syndicate with links to bikie gangs.

"The notes are a very high quality," said Australian Federal Police (AFP) commander David Steward.

"I do want to just encourage people to take care when they're using ATMs particularly and they're coming across 50 dollar notes. "

The multi-agency operation involved the AFP, NSW police, the Reserve Bank, Customs and the United States Secret Service.

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