On 18 June, Austrian Police arrested 13 suspects from an international organised criminal group responsible for the production and distribution of counterfeit euro and Serbian dinar banknotes. In total, counterfeit euros worth over EUR 300 000 in value were seized, and 1.5 million in Serbian dinar.
The investigation started in 2012 and was led by the Austrian criminal police, working with the Austrian National Bank and Europol, which is the EU’s central office for combating euro counterfeiting.
During yesterday’s early-morning raid, more than 200 police officers, including Austrian Special Forces WEGA and Cobra, were deployed to execute 16 house searches across Vienna. During the searches, officers discovered a substantial amount of unfinished 100 euro counterfeit notes in the apartment where the print shop was located.
The print shop was equipped with inkjet and laser printers, scanners, computers, a laminating machine and a stamping device. The devices seized had also been used to produce 50 euro denomination counterfeits. Fake Serbian dinar banknotes in the denominations of 1000, 2000 and 5000 were seized, together with fake Serbian passports and other forged documents.
The arrested suspects were also involved in producing and distributing fake identity documents such as passports and driving licenses to criminals around the world.
During the investigation, Europol hosted one operational meeting and provided tailored analytical and technical support to the investigators. During yesterday’s action day, Europol’s team of experts were deployed with a mobile office to support the operation with on-the-spot intelligence analysis.