Printing shop for forged documents dismantled in Barcelona

Printing shop for forged documents dismantled in Barcelona

Image: Europol

A printing ship distributing thousands of forged documents has been dismantled in Barcelona.

Officers from the Spanish National Police and the Barcelona City Police Force, supported by Europol, dismantled an organised crime group involved in property crime, facilitation of illegal immigration and document fraud.

The criminal network was involved in the counterfeiting and distribution of forged documents. It was also trafficking genuine documents, stolen in Spain. These were used by people with similar physical characteristics from Middle Eastern countries to facilitate their illegal entry into the EU.

During the action day in July, a raid in the house of the main suspect in Barcelona led to the dismantling of a printing shop for fake documents. He produced the fake documents with high-quality security features such as UV holograms. The investigation uncovered that he had ordered 1,000 similar features for the manufacturing of French ID documents and 10,000 for Spanish ID documents.

Europol facilitated the exchange of information and provided analytical support. On the action day, Europol deployed a virtual command post to enable the real-time exchange of information and cross-checking of operational information against Europol’s databases to provide leads to investigators in the field. Europol also deployed an expert to Barcelona to provide technical support with data extraction and analysis of digital evidence.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.