Europol authorities raid counterfeiters
- Published: Dec 23, 2018, 4 AM
Between Nov. 19 and Dec. 6, Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union, staged a series of raids to disrupt the distribution of counterfeit euro bank notes.
The agency said in a Dec. 7 press release that it raided 300 houses in 13 countries, resulting in the detention of 235 suspects. In addition to seizing about 1,500 fake euro notes, the haul included drugs, weapons, computers, mobile phones, Bitcoins, and what is described as hardware for mining virtual currencies. In Germany, two marijuana growers were found, and in France, a counterfeit print shop and another marijuana facility.
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The raids resulted from a discovery that exposes the existence of a new world of counterfeiting. The Austrian Federal Police found last June that over 10,000 fake €10, €20, and €50 notes were sold over the Darknet to buyers across Europe.
Techopedia defines the Darknet as “networks that are not indexed by search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing ... that are only available to a select group of people and not to the general internet public, and only accessible via authorization, specific software and configurations. This includes harmless places such as academic databases and corporate sites, as well as those with shadier subjects such as black markets, fetish communities, and hacking and piracy.”
Deputy executive director of Operations for Europol, Wil van Gemert, said: “This joint effort highlights that complete anonymity on the internet and the Darknet doesn’t exist. ... Europol will continue to assist Member States in their efforts of protecting the euro against counterfeiting, both in the real world as in the virtual one.”
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