67-year-old Yoshihiro Hasegawa has been arrested after he was detained at the Manila Police District for failing to pay his hotel bill at the City Garden Suites in Ermita.
After going through formal questioning, the management of the hotel turned over his personal belongings to the police.
During and inventory by police of the MPD General Assignment Investigation Section, it was discovered that Hasegawa was in possession of a metal safe box with the markings “Wells Fargo Bank Buffalo – Department of Treasury – Series of 1928.” Inside the safe box were two bundles of partially burnt dollar gold certificates and treasury notes worth $20 million dollars.
The gold note bills were fake based on an examination by a Currency Analysis and Communication Division of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Prosecutors are now in the process of filing ‘economic sabotage’ against Hasegawa – an unbailable offense in the Philippines.
Fake foreign treasury notes undermine, weaken or disgrace the economic system of the Republic of the Philippines, the case information said. The case was filed with the accused opting not to avail of his right to a preliminary investigation.
According to the US Department of the Treasury website, gold certificates are used only for official transactions between Federal Reserve Banks and are not circulated among the general public.