Counterfeit money ring smashed in Colombia

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The Spanish police took part in an international operation to break up a counterfeit money ring that produced fake dollar and euro bills.

25 November 2008
MADRID – Police have dismantled an international counterfeit money ring based in Colombia that produced millions in fake dollar and euro bills which they shipped to Europe hidden inside encyclopaedias, Spanish police who took part in the operation said Monday.

The authorities detained three people in the northeastern Colombian city of Cucuta near the border with Venezuela where the ring was based and who they believe ran the operation, police said in a statement.

The group, which had branches in the US and Spain, mostly made counterfeit bills with a face value of USD 100 or EUR 50 but sometimes made fake Venezuelan bolivar notes as well if it received an order for them, they added.

The fake euros and dollars were first shipped across the border to Venezuela from where they were sent either by post or by "mules" on direct flights to either Lisbon or Madrid who hid the bills inside the encyclopaedia volumes.

Police seized three printers from the group's production centre in Cucuta as well as 17,000 fake USD 100 notes as well as negatives, paper, paint and other material used to make the bills.

The operation began in the middle of this year and it involved police from Colombia, Europol, the US secret services and the Spanish police, the statement added.

Colombia, the world's biggest producer of cocaine, is a major source of fake dollars and euros.

[AFP / Expatica]

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