Courts in the Chinese capital Beijing have so far this year handed out sentences to 217 people involved in printing or spending counterfeit money, state media reported on Monday.
Out of those sentenced, 26 people found guilty of grave counterfeit crimes were given prison terms of more than five years, according to the Financial News, which is published by the central bank.
Just in the period from April to October, Beijing courts dealt with cases involving a total of two million yuan (241,000 dollars) in counterfeit money, the paper said.
Counterfeiting is common in China and is aided by poor communication between banking systems, especially in less developed regions.
The frequency of the crime slows down the speed of many businesses, as even taxi drivers are often equipped with devices to detect counterfeit cash.
In September, seven people in the southern province of Guangdong were sentenced to death in the largest counterfeiting case the mainland has seen, involving money with a face value of 642 million yuan (77 million dollars).
Staff at banks and post offices are often involved in the crimes, previous reports in the state media have alleged -- BEIJING (AFP)
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