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Europol coordinates action against buyers of counterfeit money on the Darknet

Monday 10 December 2018 10:49 CET | News

All over Europe, law enforcement agencies performed actions against suspects who bought counterfeit euro banknotes on illegal platforms on the Darknet, according to Europol.

These actions, coordinated by Europol, started on 19 November and the majority of interventions took place from 3 to 6 December. As a result, almost 300 house searches were conducted in 13 different countries and 235 suspects were detained. Law enforcement also seized around 1 500 counterfeit euro banknotes. Drugs, weapons, computers, mobile phones, Bitcoins and hardware for mining virtual currencies were also seized.

These joint actions are a direct result of a successful case handled by the Austrian Federal Criminal Police Office in June in 2018 and supported by Europol, when a print shop was dismantled in Leoben, central Austria, and the producer was arrested. The suspect was making counterfeit 10, 20 and 50 euro banknotes and sold them on several illegal Darknet marketplaces. Over 10 000 counterfeit banknotes were shipped to buyers all over Europe.

During the raid, the Austrian police found evidence of his transactions and communicated this data to Europol. This information was analysed, enhanced and forwarded to all the affected countries. During an operational meeting at Europol’s headquarters, the Member States decided to organise a coordinated action to achieve the best results possible.


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Keywords: Europol, counterfeit money, darknet, euro, Bitcoin, mining, Germany, Austria, fraud prevention
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Countries: World