$30 million in counterfeit notes: Secret Service makes its largest seizure ever

Peru is the site of seizure in massive counterfeiting operation
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 11/27/16
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As has been reported in various media outlets on a consistent basis, Peru has been known for several years as the counterfeiting capital of the world. One report attributed to it as much as 17 percent of the counterfeit currency in the United States. 

At least some of the activity has now come to an end. On Nov. 17 the Secret Service announced the success of the largest seizure of counterfeit currency in the history of the agency. 

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Called Oper­ation Sunset, it was the cul­mination of a global investigation involving six Peruvian-based criminal organizations. On Nov. 15, 2016, the Peruvian government, along with U.S. Secret Service agents, executed 54 pre-dawn search and arrest warrants in Lima. More than 1,500 Peruvian National Police officers were involved in the operation, and 48 people were arrested in all. 

The Secret Service said that $30 million in counterfeit Federal Reserve notes and €50,000 in euro notes were discovered, six counterfeit plants were suppressed, eight counterfeit manufacturing presses seized, and over 1,600 printing plates and negatives of varying denominations were found. 

“The Peruvian government has become a valuable partner in our efforts to combat counterfeit currency,” said Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy. 

“Protecting the nation’s financial infrastructure is a vital component of our integrated mission of protection and investigations,” he said. 

The U.S. Secret Service opened a resident office in Lima in an effort to combat the widespread counterfeiting and to offer support and training to the National Police. An anti-Counterfeiting Task Force was created and Peruvian officers were trained at Secret Service training facilities.

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