A total of EUR 17 150 in counterfeit EUR 50 banknotes were discovered and seized after Lithuanian law enforcement authorities searched over 10 residences and vehicles belonging to a criminal network specialised in euro counterfeiting.
Moreover, the criminals had prepared paper with watermark and security thread imitations for more than EUR 3 million in counterfeit EUR 50 banknotes.
Europol supported an operation led by the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau, in cooperation with the Vilnius and Kaunas District Police. Under the supervision of the Lithuanian Prosecutor General Office, the officers dismantled a clandestine print shop producing counterfeit EUR 50 banknotes.
In a rented premise and other locations, the Lithuanian authorities also found offset printing machines, laser printers, silkscreen frames, cutting machines, counterfeit EUR 50 holographic stickers, offset and UV inks, as well as other materials used to produce counterfeits.
Although the counterfeit banknotes were not of the best quality, they had been detected in 15 EU countries. Germany, Latvia and Lithuania were the most affected countries.
5 persons were detained during the operation, of which 3 were afterwards arrested by the Lithuanian authorities.
Europol is the European Union's Central Office for Combating Euro Counterfeiting. Our agency facilitates the exchange of information and provides expertise, criminal and forensic analysis, training, financial and technical support to law enforcement agencies inside and outside the European Union.