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Mafia and Millions of Fake Euros: Europol Exposed the Largest Counterfeiters Network

Europol confirmed the previously published media information about the exposure of the counterfeiters network in Italy. The department noted that the criminal group is probably the largest in the history of the euro.

On Thursday, July 16, a French police representative, reported the exposure of the mafia network of counterfeiters, 44 arrests and confiscated property worth 8 million euros.

“The criminal network exposed in Italy produced 25% of all counterfeit euro banknotes found in circulation. This network is perhaps the largest network ever to have operated since the introduction of the euro,” Europol said in a press release.

Law enforcement officers from Italy, Belgium and France took part in the special operation. Europol helped with information exchange, coordination and analytical work. The investigation began back in October 2017, when a large batch of counterfeit €50 banknotes was seized in Benevento, Italy.

In February 2018, in Naples, another 450 thousand units of counterfeit banknotes of 50 and 100 euros were found hidden in tanks. Six months later, in July, another batch of counterfeit coins was found in Lombardy.

Further investigations in coordination with Europol helped to expose the network of criminals behind the money counterfeiting. On July 15, law enforcement officers arrested 44 suspects and froze assets totaling 8 million euros.

Law enforcement officials suspect that over the years of their activity, criminals produced and distributed more than 3 million fake banknotes totaling more than 233 million euros.

The head of the network has been engaged in counterfeiting money for more than 20 years, and not only in their manufacture, but also in distribution in the EU. The investigation established that he was associated with the Italian mafia group Camorra.

Author: Marko Vidrih

Featured image credit: Unsplash

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Marko Vidrih

Marko Vidrih

Most writers waste tremendous words to say nothing. I’m not one of them.

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