Spain busts huge euro forgery network: police

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Spanish police broke up one of the biggest forging scams in Europe, seizing 1.5 million euros ($2 million) in fake bank notes and arresting dozens of suspects, officials said on Tuesday.

"It is one of the biggest acts of forgery in Europe in terms of the quality and the amount of money printed," a statement from the national police said.

"The group had distributed more than two million fake euros in Spain and other European countries."

The forgers printed fake 50-euro notes in a building disguised as a canned food depot in Spain that was used as a front and also imported smaller forged notes from Italy, it said.

Photographs of the workshop released by police showed everyday office printers and paper cutters that were used to make the notes.

Police said they arrested a person suspected to be the main forger after an investigation into the gang by Spain with the European police agency Europol.

Europol said the gang had distributed the fake euros in 20 European countries and said 25 suspects were arrested overall.

Spanish police said the gang also carried out drug trafficking and they suspected it of links to the Camorra mafia in Naples, Italy.

"The investigation is ongoing and further arrests can be expected," Europol said in a statement.

© 2011 AFP

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