Joint Police Operation Dismantles Criminal Gang Distributing Counterfeit €500 Notes

Joint Police Operation Dismantles Criminal Gang Distributing Counterfeit €500 Notes. CREDIT: Twitter

JOINT Police Forces Operation With Europol Dismantles A Criminal Gang Distributing Counterfeit €500 Notes

Spanish Guardia Civil officers, in a joint operation with the National Police and EUROPOL, have dismantled a criminal organization allegedly distributing counterfeit currency in Spain, specifically €500 notes.

During the operation, 37 people were arrested in different provinces of Spain charged with the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, document falsification, counterfeiting of currency, fraud, money laundering, and crimes against public health, and police say the operation remains open at this time and new arrests are not ruled out.

A police statement says the investigation began in October 2019, when the officers detected several counterfeit €500 notes had been used in different locations in the province of Granada.

Subsequently, new copies of the exact same forgery were detected in the rest of the autonomous community of Andalucía, and further investigations revealed that one of the suspects had travelled from Santa Pola in Alicante, to Sevilla, where he sold more than 170 of the forged notes, and then some days later, these counterfeit bills began to appear in circulation introduced by the ‘trickle’ system.

The joint investigation took more than one year and was very complex due to the stringent security measures taken by those investigated, but eventually, their operation was exposed and officers uncovered a total of 402 counterfeit €500 notes (€201,000) during 16 raids on premises belonging to gang members, with various other items also found, including €12,000 in bitcoin, €32,000 in legitimate cash, and several firearms.

The provinces where the highest number of forged banknotes were distributed were Alicante, Almería, Barcelona, ​​Granada, Seville, and Valencia, and, in the Catalan capital, several people of Romanian nationality were identified for trying to introduce the fake €500 notes into ATMs of different banks, using mules, people who the gang would use to open a bank account in exchange for financial reward, and as a result, several banking institutions throughout Spain have been hit, as reported by


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]