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Hamas police bust money counterfeiting ring

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A Palestinian man holds Israeli shekels on March 7, 2011 in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Hamas police in the Gaza Strip announced on Sunday they had uncovered a counterfeiting ring that had forged some 20 million shekels ($5.47 million, 4.26 million euros) in the coastal Palestinian territory. (AFP/File)

Hamas police in the Gaza Strip announced on Sunday they had uncovered a counterfeiting ring that had forged some 20 million Israeli shekels ($5.47 million, 4.26 million euros) in the coastal Palestinian territory.

Police spokesman Ayoub Abu Shaar told AFP three people were arrested last week "while distributing the false money in markets".

Hamas police described the three suspects as belonging to "the largest counterfeiting ring of 100-shekel bills in the Gaza Strip".

A police officer said a search of the home of one suspect revealed "a room with paper used for forgery, in addition to machines used for counterfeiting like printers, laptops, stencils and inks".