Europol and local law enforcement agencies tracked down and arrested 53 suppliers of counterfeit euro bills via the darknet. The operation enlisted help of seven EU Member States, according to Europol.
A total of 77 locations in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Slovakia and Spain had been identified as parts of the counterfeiting infrastructure. With the help of the local law enforcement agencies, Europol identified and arrested 53 criminals, seizing 2049 counterfeit euro banknotes in the process.
The crackdown came as a result of dismantling an illegal euro banknote print shop in Vienna, Austria in February 2017. The documentation seized during the raid led to a discovery of a massive euro counterfeit operation on the darknet. The ensuing investigation resulted in 53 arrests across 7 EU Member states. The forgers had engaged in illegal trade of counterfeit money in 33 countries, both in and outside the EU, namely Spain, France, Germany, the US, Canada, Argentina, Egypt, Russia, Singapore and others.
The trades had been conducted mainly on Alphabay and Hansa darknet marketplaces, later taken down by the United States (FBI) and the Netherlands.
Pictures by Europol: