Bulgarian scam flooded Spain with false 500 euro notes
Police have broken up a criminal organisation which distributed false notes of 500 euros by the method known as “drip”.
They brought the counterfeit currency from Bulgaria to Spain where they made purchases in luxury stores and subsequently sent part of the profits back home via international money transfer companies
So far, 32 people have been arrested – 27 of them in Spain and five in Bulgaria – and 26,000 euros in counterfeit banknotes of 500 euros seized, together with more than 5,800 euros in legal tender
Police believe the amount of counterfeit currency introduced into the financial circuit by this group exceeds 200,000 euros.
The investigation was carried out by Spain’s National Police with officers from Bulgaria and under the umbrella of Eurojust with the participation of EUROPOL.
The 500 euro false notes were mainly used in municipalities on the Mediterranean coast.
Those arrested include the ringleader, a Bulgarian, known by Spanish investigators for being previously involved in similar criminal acts.
The false notes were brought into Spain by “human mules” by land and air who received a percentage of their worth. Others then made luxury purchases in stores, usually for around 250 euros, getting legitimate money as the change. The items were later sold elsewhere at lower amounts to recuperate more of the cash.