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Man Sells Fake Bronze, Gets Paid in Counterfeit
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Jun 27, 7:16 am ET

HANOI (Reuters) - A Vietnamese man who used cow fat and paint to pass off a lump of iron as valuable black bronze found buyers -- but was paid $64,000 in counterfeit bills.

A justice official said 12 people involved in both frauds were arrested and were undergoing trial in southern An Giang province.

Eight were accomplices of the accused metal fraudster, while three were involved in the alleged counterfeiting, the prosecutor said.

State-run Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported that Huynh Van Gat confessed he had painted a one kg iron lump with cow fat and black paint and tried to pass it off as black bronze and sought to sell it for one billion dong ($64,683). Black bronze is used in making jewelry and ornamental objects like statues.

A group of three business people from Ho Chi Minh City who were negotiating to buy the black bronze, which is valued on the market at around $1 million, bought a printer to produce 900 million Vietnamese dong ($58,214) to pay for the deal.

Gat and his accomplices were arrested a few days later when local shops tipped off the police about the fake dong.

The men told the police they didn't know the money was counterfeit and revealed where it came from -- leading to the arrest of the others.

The justice official said the trial would last several days.

Counterfeiting money carries a penalty ranging from three years in prison to death by firing squad in communist Vietnam.

($1-15,460 dong)

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