The two men are accused of trying to buy a pair of shoes with a fake U.S. $100 bill. The merchant spotted the bad bill immediately and alerted police, said the Fuerza Pública. Officers were able to stop a vehicle containing two suspects a short distance away. They had in their possession bills. Fuerza Pública officers said there were 12 authentic U.S. bills and 200 fake ones.
The men sought to make the purchase at an artisans fair, part of the Limón carnival. Police said one of the men had been detained on an identical charge twice before, once in 2008 and once in 2009.
There is not a lot of counterfeiting of U.S. currency in Costa Rica. The reason is that there are sophisticated operations in Colombia that can make good copies of even the most secure bill. These operations turn out millions in fake bills every week, and the produce is distributed all over the world. Local distributors generally pay about 30 percent of the face value of the bills and then seek to pass them to earn a profit.