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Fake 1,000-yen bill with watermark used at gas station in west Japan city

A counterfeit 1,000-yen bill that lacks a serial number and a seal, used at a gas stand in the city of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, is seen in this photo.

SHIMONOSEKI, Yamaguchi -- A counterfeit 1,000-yen (roughly $9.58) bill was used at a gas station in this western Japan city, it has been learned.

    According to the gas stand in the city of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, a man who visited at around 12:20 p.m. on Nov. 24 put high-octane gasoline worth 3,000 yen (about $28.75) in his car and paid part of the cost with the fake note.

    When he handed over the money he reportedly told a worker, "It's crumpled, but I got it as change at a store. It might have shrunk because someone washed it." The employee accepted the counterfeit bill after making sure it had a watermark.

    However, a financial institution pointed out that the note was counterfeit when the gas stand tried to make a deposit. After confirming that the 1,000-yen bill was a bit smaller in size than regular 1,000-yen bills and lacking a serial number and a seal, the gas stand consulted prefectural police's Shimonoseki Police Station and submitted the note.

    As the fake note was well crafted, Yamaguchi Prefectural Police are investigating its distribution channel, among other information.

    In Shimonoseki, there was another case in which a man and a woman reportedly tried to use a 10,000-yen (approx. $95.83) bill lacking a serial number at a retail store about a month ago. According to the shop, when an employee suspicious of counterfeit money declined to take it, the customers handed over a real 10,000-yen note after stating, "Maybe it was an old bill."

    (Japanese original by Rokuhei Sato, Shimonoseki Bureau)

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