Paper Money

Authorities in Spain raid counterfeiting operation

Europol agents assisted Spanish authorities in raiding a counterfeiting operation based in Tenerife on the Canary Islands.

Original images courtesy of Europol.

Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union, said on March 30 that it had assisted the Spanish National Police in eliminating the most active counterfeit euro print shop in Spain.

The operation was based in Tenerife on the Canary Islands and specialized in the €10 and €20 denominations. It generated a profit of about €7,500 or $8,425 per month.

At the Europol website, a video of the bust, codenamed Operation Malla, showed a portion of the raid. 

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The investigation began in July 2018, when the Bank of Spain noticed that the amount of fake €10 bank notes in Tenerife had increased significantly. Europol, as the agency responsible for combating euro counterfeiting, provided financial, technical and analytical support to the national police.

On the day of the raid, four Italians living in the Canary Islands were arrested. A search of the house of one of them revealed a print shop for the counterfeit currency, as well as for bogus ID cards. Inkjet printers, computers, and the inks and paper needed to create the bank notes was seized.

In total, €15,500 in €10 and €20 counterfeit bank notes were confiscated, €9,000 in the search and €6,500 found in circulation. 

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