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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 18, May 3, 2009, Article 28

PLAY MONEY SOLD IN VIET NAM A LITTLE TOO REALISTIC

Toy makers strive to make many of their products as realistic as possible. But it's one thing to sell a baby doll that oozes bodily fluids from every orifice, and quite another to sell play money that could pass for the real McCoy, as this article from Viet Nam notes. -Editor
Vietnamese Realistic Play Money The bundles of realistic play money flooding Ho Chi Minh City are as illegal as counterfeit currency, said a treasury official Tuesday.

The play notes, denominated from VND500 to VND500,000, hit local toy shops in a big way early this month.

The notes, along with play US dollars, euros and pounds, became instantly popular with the city’s youth.

But local authorities are not happy as the play notes look so realistic.

“It is illegal” to produce and sell bills so similar to real currency, Ho Huu Hanh, director of the Ho Chi Minh City branch of the State Bank of Vietnam, told online news service Vnexpress on Tuesday.

“People could be cheated,” Hanh said. His office has asked police to investigate the origin of the notes.

A local mother who wished to be identified only as Hong said she felt strange when her third-grade daughter first brought the notes home. “They look just like real money.”

A local father named Thuc said he didn’t object to the fake money when he first saw it being sold at his child’s school’s canteen.

“But it has inspired the kids to play cards and gamble,” he said.

Thuc’s son said his classmates now play cards every chance they get. Thuc says the trend is dangerous.

“They bring the cards and the ‘money’ everywhere. They look like they’re operating their own illegal casinos... The play money will spoil the children.”

But most sellers said they would continue selling the toys so long as demand was high.

To read the complete article, see: Realistic play money worries state bank, parents (http://www.thanhniennews.com/features/?catid=10&newsid=48290)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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