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Fake money buys real Cody’s

Police are investigating after a man used a counterfeit $50 note at a Masterton liquor store last Sunday night.

The man exchanged the bogus note for a 12-pack of Cody’s Bourbon and Cola and $20 of real change.

Raj Patel, owner of the Hospital Dairy and Thirsty Liquor on Te Ore Ore Rd, said he quickly realised something wasn’t right.

“As soon as I put it in the till, I realised it was a fake note because of the texture, so I went outside, but he had already left,” Patel said.

The note was frayed on the edges and had a rough cut-out centre window.

The next afternoon after filing a police report, Patel recognised the same man pulling up in the same car, so he went outside and confronted him.

“I told him, ‘You gave me a fake $50 yesterday’; I showed him the photos, but he denied it,” he said.

“He said he wanted to see the note, he wanted me to give it back, but I refused; that was my proof.”

Patel went inside and called 111, but the man came inside and left his name and contact details.

The man said he was not sure where he got the counterfeit note from but said it could have been from the pokies in Carterton.

The Times-Age contacted the man and asked him to provide details about when and where he got the fake note, but he declined to clarify further on the record, except to say that he had played the pokies at Royal Oak, Ev’s Bar, and Farriers for several days since last Thursday, and it could have come from any of those venues.

However, it could not have come from Ev’s Bar because there, pokies winnings over $100 come out of an ATM that only holds $20 notes.

Royal Oak duty manager Phillipa Katene said payouts over $200 from their pokies are paid out of a dedicated till, which could contain $50 notes.

“We move through a lot of cash here, so it could have happened; it’s hard to say,” Katene said.

She said that if the man did get the counterfeit note from Royal Oak, he would have signed a document before receiving his cash, and it would have been recorded on their cameras.

Graeme Bell, interim chief executive of Trust House, which owns Farriers, said the note might have come from their pokies because they also pay large wins out of a till at the bar, which could include $50 notes.

Police said they were making positive lines of enquiry into the incident.

They said anyone with information about counterfeit money, including CCTV footage of people using it, should call 105.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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