Illegal euro mint-shop dismantled

25 January 2013
News Article
Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Economic Crime

View all crime areas

On 19 January 2013, in the framework of a joint investigation carried out by the Carabinieri (CCAFM) and the Guardia di Finanza, an illegal euro mint-shop was dismantled in Gallicano, Italy, in the region of Rome.

Three suspects of Italian origin (Naples and Piedmont) were caught red handed, producing counterfeit €2 coins. In this operation, which disrupted a criminal organisation aiming to distribute a large quantity of counterfeit coins, Europol provided technical support on the spot and analytical support, linking this case to other EU Member States and to a previous investigation in Belgium where an illegal mint was dismantled.

In addition to the illegal mint (stamping press), devices and material used to produce counterfeit one euro and two euro coins, such as dies and blanks, were found, as well as finished coins.

In total, 61 finished €2 coins and 10 x €1 coins were seized, together with blanks to produce another 8000 - 12000 x €2 coins and 5000 - 10000 x €1 coins.

The seized dies had the French national side (€1 and €2) and the Italian commemorative side for the Winter Olympics in Torino. They clearly aimed to produce coins that were not so common in Italy in order to distribute them more easily.

The premises of the mint shop were well hidden from view in a rural villa, in a little town outside Rome.