In a surprising turn of events, Canadian authorities have uncovered what is now the largest detected shipment of fake Canadian $2 coins, also known as Toonies, from China. The investigation began when a package labeled as containing “metal badges” arrived at a FedEx warehouse in Montreal. Caroline Landry, an officer with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), decided to inspect the package further after noticing inconsistencies in the customs paperwork.
Upon opening the package, which was meant to be delivered to a company called “Les Cartes Quebecois,” Landry discovered several more boxes inside. According to the CBSA, these boxes contained approximately 12,000 $2 Canadian coins, all from the year 2012. The discovery raised several questions. Why would someone ship thousands of coins from China to Quebec, labeling them as badges? And why were they all from 2012?
After conducting an investigation, the CBSA, with the assistance of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), concluded that there are metal coin manufacturing companies in China producing counterfeit Canadian coins. These coins are then sold to buyers in North America through online platforms like AliBaba and eBay. In this case, Canadian buyers had the fake coins delivered to their doors by courier companies such as FedEx and UPS.
It is important to note that the CBSA’s allegations have yet to be proven in court. However, the evidence gathered so far suggests a large-scale operation of counterfeit money smuggling. Jean-Francois Généreux, the recipient of the seized packages, has a history of convictions related to counterfeit money and fake documents. CBSA investigators also discovered that Généreux had received two other packages labeled as “metal badges” in the past.
The seized coins have been examined by forensic specialists at the RCMP’s National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau, who confirmed that they were fake Toonies. The CBSA believes that Généreux was involved in buying and importing the counterfeit coins from China. Further raids on Généreux’s home and storage unit yielded an additional 14,581 fake Toonies.
If convicted, this case would be the largest seizure of fake coins from a single individual in Canadian history, providing direct evidence of ties to China. The investigation serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenge posed by counterfeit currency and the need for continued vigilance in detecting and preventing such illegal activities.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are Toonies?
Toonies are a slang term for the Canadian two-dollar coins, which were introduced in 1996. They are bi-metallic coins with an outer ring made of nickel-plated steel and an inner core made of bronze-aluminum.
How were the fake coins discovered?
The fake coins were discovered by a Canada Border Services Agency officer, Caroline Landry, who became suspicious of a package labeled as containing “metal badges” from China.
What online platforms were used to sell the counterfeit coins?
The CBSA alleges that the counterfeit coins were sold through online web e-commerce platforms such as AliBaba and eBay, among others.
What happens next in the investigation?
The case is currently unproven, and the evidence gathered by the CBSA will be tested in court. If convicted, Jean-Francois Généreux could potentially face charges related to counterfeit money smuggling.
How are counterfeit coins distinguished from genuine ones?
Forensic specialists at the RCMP’s National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau examined the seized coins and identified differences in graphical detail and quality compared to genuine Royal Canadian Mint $2 coins. Specific details about these differences have not been disclosed.