Portuguese Judicial Police, working closely with Europol, have dismantled an organised crime group's illegal counterfeit euro print shop and arrested five.
On 7 February 2013 in Oporto, Portugal, police arrested five Portuguese citizens, aged between 17 and 31 years old, who are suspected of producing and distributing fake euro banknotes in various denominations. The suspects were previously involved in a counterfeiting network which was dismantled by Portuguese Police in 2008.
As well as the arrests, Portuguese authorities seized 30 000 euros in 20 and 50 euro denomination notes, which were of average quality. Various printing equipment and tools used for the production of the counterfeits, such as inkjet printers, hot foil stamping dies, holograms, inks, paper and printing plates, were also seized.
The raid was the culmination of an extensive operation that has been ongoing for eight months and was supported by Europol. In its capacity as the EU Central Office for Combating Euro Counterfeiting, Europol typically facilitates the exchange of intelligence and provides expertise, criminal and forensic analysis, training, financial and technical support to law enforcement agencies inside and outside the European Union.