Algerian police crack currency forging ring
Algerian police have dismantled a group of currency forgers who put more than 48 million euros in fake banknotes on to the market, the newspaper El-Watan Week-end reported on Friday.
"This is believed to be one of the biggest networks of traffickers using Algeria for their main target," the paper said, without saying when the men were taken into custody.
According to sources close to the case, the three forgers put the equivalent of five billion Algerian dinars (48 million euros / 68 million dollars) into circulation, in dinars, euros and other currencies.
The three men, aged between 27 and 35, were unemployed and had no previous criminal record, but the paper said that they had established ties with the mafia in Italy and France. The public prosecutor ordered they be detained.
For several days, the Algerian press has been regularly reporting the seizure of forged banknotes.
This is the annual period when Muslims make their holy pilgrimage to Mecca. El-Watan Week-end speculated that many pilgrims have supplied themselves with false currency on the black market to make the journey.
The black market exchange is always more favourable to customers than the official bank rate.
© 2010 AFP