Sharjah Police stay ahead of forgers, solve 13k tough cases

Sharjah Police stay ahead of forgers, solve 13k tough cases

Sharjah - A handful of criminals even go as far as investing in 'technologies' to carry out fraud.

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Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Mon 29 Apr 2019, 8:48 PM

Last updated: Mon 29 Apr 2019, 10:54 PM

The Sharjah Police's forensic lab cracked over 13,000 'mysterious crimes' in 2018 - and among them were cases of forgery and fraud, a top official has said. 
Despite the smart detection tools and advanced equipment used by authorities, some unscrupulous individuals still try their luck in faking currencies and forging documents and signatures, among other fraudulent activities, said Brig Ahmed Al Serkal, director of forensic laboratory at the Sharjah Police. 
A handful of criminals even go as far as investing in 'technologies' to carry out fraud - but they all end up being caught as the country's authorities have proven that they are always one step ahead.
A few years ago, for example, fraudsters used 'magic erasable ink' in asking for cheque signatures. Once businessmen filled out the cheques, the criminals would alter the details and encash the cheques, stealing money straight from the victims' accounts. 
The Sharjah Police managed to crack this modus operandi by using advanced technologies and raising awareness. "Hence, from seven cases reported in 2016, only one was filed last year," Brig Al Serkal said. "Most of the victims in such cases were company owners."
While the Sharjah Forensic Laboratory stays abreast of the latest global developments in safety and security, the officer said training everyone in their team remains a top priority, thus helping them solve forgery crimes. Forgery, by definition, happens whenever one tricks a person into providing a seal, signature or an imprint for a document the latter knows nothing about - or when the criminal obtains all these without one's consent, Brig Al Serkal said. It may also involve creating illegal copies or imitations of an object of value. 
Fake currencies
Of all types of forgery, faking a country's currency is among the worst cases, an expert has said. 
"Counterfeiting a currency is one of the most serious crimes against a society and the economy because of its close relationship with the economic sector of countries. If citizens come know that there is fake currency in their market, they would be discouraged to use local currency and would instead rely on foreign currency - this scenario could then lead to the collapse of the local currency and major problems in the circulation of money," he said. 
In the UAE, people were arrested for faking currencies in recent incidents. The Dubai Police, for one, caught 471 suspects with more than a billion dirhams of fake money. While in Sharjah, cops nabbed two Asians for trying to circulate fake Dh100 and Dh200 bills in groceries and petrol stations. 
A Dubai court also recently sentenced three Arab men to two years each in jail for trading a large amount of fake dollar bills for valid ones with a police informant.
"Addressing this issue of counterfeits and forgery requires tech solutions that can instantly identify fakes," the expert said.
He explained that about 80 percent of the counterfeit currency is made by using colour copiers and computer printers. However, the average person can easily detect fake bills by checking the guarantee methods, such as the watermark and warranty cord, as well as the texture. 
These days, fraud detection machines have already become "very sophisticated" and well programmed. 
"The most important elements of ensuring the safety of the currency is the touch-by-finger to identify the type of paper used," he said. 
Spot the difference: Fake vs genuine
How to identify fake currency notes
1-Look at the security marks (such as a water mark or the security thread)
2-Blurry text or graphic elements are also a red flag
3-Check the texture. Counterfeit money has a soft texture, while the genuine ones have rough textures due to the raised printing on some of its parts
One way to spot forged documents 
>Look at the document's seal or signature under a magnifying glass
>If the resulting shape is a bitmap, then it indicates that the document is forged
>However, more tests must be run to prove forgery. It is best to present the document to authorities.
Authorities now use UV systems and other smart devices that are capable of detecting all cases of forgery, especially involving official documents and passports. 
One first-of-its-kind device is called E7, which was invented by an Emirati, Sgt Amer Al Jabr. 
The E7 can read passports and documents from around the world, as well as standard and electronic documents. It can photo-scan all types of documents, airline tickets, barcodes, international IDs and entry visas, as well as other characteristics and technology applications.
The forgery detection device also examines the means of guarantee to determine its validity. This process can be difficult for the average person to discover.

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