British Man Arrested For Allegedly Exchanging Counterfeit Money in Phuket

Phuket –

A British man was arrested after he allegedly exchanged fake money at an exchange booth in Phuket.

On Tuesday (February 6th), the Sakoo Police in Thalang were notified by Ms. Jamjira, 50, an exchange booth staff member, that a foreign man had exchanged 1,000 Euro in cash for 37,850 Baht in cash at an exchange booth in Sakoo. She later found out that the foreign banknotes were counterfeit.

On Wednesday (February 7th) police arrested a suspect identified only as Mr. Tobias, 33, a British national. Seized from him were 17,800 Euros in counterfeit cash (682,585 Baht), £5,400 Pounds in genuine sterling cash (266,992 Baht) and some genuine Thai cash (199,000 Baht).

He was taken to the Sakoo Police Station to face charges of possession of counterfeit money. Mr. Tobias denied the charges and said he didn’t know the Euros were fake and had received the Euros from another man (See below). Tobias told police that he entered Thailand in December of last year, 2023, and had extended his stay on January 31st of this year.

On February 1st, he stayed with a man identified only as Mr. Ozeias, 46, a British national at a condominium in Mai Khao, Thalang. On February 5th, he transferred crypto money to the value of 34,900 Usd (1.24 million Baht) to Mr. Ozeias. He received Euro cash in exchange from Mr. Ozeias which totalled about 674,800 Baht in value. He used that Euro cash to exchange cash at the exchange booth in Sakoo. Mr. Tobias said he also exchanged a total of 1,000 Euros in cash at exchange booths in Kamala and Cherng Talay.

Police found that Mr. Ozeias had exchanged a total of 3,000 Euros in counterfeit cash (111,600 Baht) at exchange booths in the Tha Chatchai area, Thalang. Mr. Ozeias has already left Thailand, however, and Thai police would work on an Interpol Red alert to attempt to bring him to justice.

Sakoo police were still reviewing the situation and if they would push forward on any charges involving Tobias, who continues to say he was not aware the cash was fake.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.