Man arrested with $12 million in phony checks

Saturday, July 20, 2002

DETROIT -- A Jordanian-born man carrying $12 million in phony cashier's checks was arrested at the Detroit airport and is being investigated by a terrorism task force, federal authorities said.

Omar Shishani, 47, was charged with possessing fraudulent bank notes. A bail hearing Friday was postponed to give his attorney more time to prepare.

Shishani lives in Dearborn and identified himself at his arraignment Thursday as a naturalized U.S. citizen. Federal prosecutor Eric Straus said Shishani was born in Jordan and is of Chechen descent.

The U.S. Attorney's Anti-Terrorism Task Force, made up of federal and state authorities in the Detroit area, is investigating.

A customs inspector found nine checks believed to be counterfeit after Shishani arrived Wednesday on a flight from Indonesia, according to court papers.

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