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Fraudsters Mint Common Currency for Customs Union

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Scammers in southern Kazakhstan have discovered a way to take advantage of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan by offering self-minted union currency to gullible people in exchange for the Kazakh tenge, Tengrinews reported.

Scammers in southern Kazakhstan have discovered a way to take advantage of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan by offering self-minted union currency to gullible people in exchange for the Kazakh tenge, Tengrinews reported.

The two female suspects in the case targeted the old and ill, especially vulnerable pensioners. The women reportedly told their victims that the Kazakh authorities are exchanging the local currency for a new Customs Union currency due to Kazakhstan’s joining the union.

"The ladies persuaded pensioners to quickly exchange their money, and the naive pensioners handed their savings over to the fraudsters," said Aziz Kenjaev, a local police officer. The scammers were able to defraud seven people for a total of half a million tenge, or about $3,000. Meanwhile, police gave no description of what the self-minted currency looks like.

The Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus formally came into existence on January 1, 2010, but member states are yet to decide on a single currency. However, both Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev have talked about the need for a single currency for the Customs Union.

 

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