Europe-wide actions against counterfeit money in Darknet

Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and state police departments in seven federal states carried out dawn raids under suspicion of acquisition of counterfeit money.

The raid took place in parallel to searches against four suspects in Bavaria, and four in North Rhine-Westphalia. Further search measures took place in France, Greece, Luxembourg, Ireland, Austria and Spain and are actually ongoing. The European police authority Europol coordinated the Europe-wide operational measures. The suspects, ageing between 15 and 59 are accused of acquiring counterfeit money on illegal trading platforms in the Darknet and via encrypted messenger services. The counterfeit money manufacturing facility was discovered in Catanhede (Portugal) in July 2019 by the National Anti-Corruption Unit (U.N.C.C.) of the Portuguese Police (Polícia Judiciára). Five alleged manufacturers and counterfeit money sellers have been arrested in Portugal and Colombia then. The suspected Germans have acquired 50 and 10 euro banknotes from that facility.

As part of the search measures numerous evidence has been preserved, in particular counterfeit money, computers, mobile terminals and data carriers, and other incriminated goods, in particular narcotics, forged identity cards, materials used to falsify official identity documents, prohibited under weapons law objects and ammunition. Based on the results of further investigations suspicions for violations of the German Weapons Act (WaffG) and the Narcotics Law (BtMG) will initiate additional proceedings. 

Source: Federal Criminal Police Office, Germany (in German)