On 15 January, Spanish National Police arrested five suspects belonging to an international organised criminal group responsible for the production and distribution of counterfeit euro and US dollar banknotes. In total, counterfeit euros worth EUR 14 750, counterfeit US dollars’ worth 90 000 and 16 000 genuine euros were seized.
Those arrested were three males of Spanish nationality and one male and one female, from Colombia.
The investigation started in 2013 and was led by the Spanish National Police, Brigada de Investigación del Banco de Espana and regional units UDYCO Costa del Sol, UDEV Jaénce, working with the Spanish National Bank and Europol, which is the EU’s central office for combating euro counterfeiting.
The full print shop was dismantled in Toledo, Spain, and all equipment to produce counterfeit euro banknotes was seized such as inkjet and laser printers, scanners, computers, pen drives, laminating machine, hot foil stamping devices, printing plates and clichés for 50 euros, inks, and metallic foil.
During the investigation, Europol hosted an operational meeting and provided tailored analytical and financial support to the investigators.