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Spain and Canaries implicated in scam involving fake notes purchased with bitcoins 

National Police, in a simultaneous operation throughout Europe with the participation of Europol, has arrested 18 people for distributing fake money throughout the country acquired in the darknet.

These arrests have taken place in Madrid (1), Palencia (1), Valencia (1), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (1), Tenerife (1), Barcelona (2), Castellón de la Plana (1), Valladolid ( 2), Seville (2), Granada (1), Málaga (2), Ciudad Real (2) and Baleares (1). The majority of the detainees are people who bought fake money, which they paid with bitcoins, protected in the supposed anonymity that the dark internet would provide them. The agents have seized a total of 15,000 fake euros in bills of 20 and 50.

The investigations began at the end of June this year after receiving various information related to the distribution of counterfeit money in Spain, specifically related to buyers of fake money through the darknet.

This information came from two operations: one carried out by the Austrian authorities after dismantling a clandestine press from where false money was sold on the Internet to countries around the world and another made by the FBI together with Europol against the darknet, where they dismantled two important clandestine markets that carried out illicit transactions of arms, drugs and fake money.

All this information related to counterfeit currency was transferred to the National Police, where it was analysed and treated to identify the people who were buying the fake money on the internet anonymously.

The modus operandi consisted of the purchase of fake money in darknet underground markets, making the payment through cryptocurrencies, the most common being bitcoin. These criminals, mostly young people with knowledge of the internet, covered themselves in the alleged anonymity using different nicknames and received these fake banknotes in Spain hidden in objects such as magazines, DVDs or shoes.