How It Undermines Your Money
(As featured on *The 700 Club Newswatch*, July 21, 1994)
Hundreds of millions of American dollars in bogus bills are
flooding the world market. And while counterfeiting is nothing
new, recent global counterfeiting strategies may undermine the
integrity of the dollar.
In addition to small-scale counterfeiting, large counterfeit
operations are being sponsored by foreign governments and have a
greater potential for weakening the U.S. dollar.
According to the House Republican Task Force on Terrorism and
Unconventional Warfare, Iran and Syria are actively engaged in
producing and distributing counterfeit $100 bills. They are
acting in concert to purposefully "destabilize the United States'
economy by undermining confidence in the dollar."
The plan is to flood the world market with bogus American bills.
That would drive down the value of the dollar and weaken the U.S.
economy. Iran and Syria also need hard currency to alleviate
their own financial crises.
"The Iranian deficit is far greater than... predicted, therefore
they need more hard currency to balance the budget," says Yossef
Bodansky, director of the task force. In 1992, the Iranian
foreign debt was estimated at $34 billion. Bodansky says the
Iranians made up for the shortfall by printing high quality $100
bills at their government mint.
According to the task force report, bogus bills are passed
through a Lebanon-based drug network. Safe shipment of the
counterfeit money is facilitated by Syrian Military Intelligence.
The counterfeit dollars are then distributed through Africa via
Cairo, Egypt, and Nairobi, Kenya, and on to Europe via Albania,
Bosnia and Italy.
Bodansky says the Iranian counterfeit money is laundered with
drug profits by the Italian Mafia. He says the Italians have
enlisted the help of the Russian mob. According to the task force
report, more than half the foreign currency in circulation in
Central Asia may be counterfeit.
What can the United States government do to safeguard the
integrity of the dollar from this international counterfeit
conspiracy? Treasury Department officials recently unveiled their
plan to Congress. They want to conduct the first major overhaul
of the U.S. currency in more than 65 years. Among the possible
changes are: shifting and enlarging presidential portraits, and
adding hard-to-copy water marks and color shifting ink.
The Treasury Department plans to begin circulating new $100 bills
in 1996. But as Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) warns, this one change
is not enough. "We must continue to innovate in order to keep one
step ahead of the counterfeiters. We can't... reevaluate the
currency once every 65 years."
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
[Above from a *700 Club* Fact Sheet]
For more information, read:
"Fighting Forgers," *Dallas Morning News* (4/19/94)
"Trust Assad? Not Yet," *New York Times* (1/18/94, p. A23)