Gang caught in Gran Canaria were planning massive euro note printing fraud
National Police officers have dismantled a clandestine printing press in the Canary Islands prepared to print 350,000 euros in tickets of 20 and 50 euros.
The operation, being international, has been coordinated by
Europol and the Ministry of the Interior in Colombia. The criminal organisation
was established in Colombia but to facilitate the introduction of counterfeit
money into the financial circuit of Europe, it decided to transfer part of its
members to the Canary archipelago.
Two people specialised in printing counterfeit money have
been arrested and all the machinery, tools and materials necessary to imitate
euro banknotes have been intervened.
The investigation began thanks to the close relationship of
the National Police with the Colombian authorities in the fight against
counterfeiting. As a result of this relationship, at the beginning of this
year, the Technical Investigation Corps of the Office of the Prosecutor of the
Republic of Colombia informed the Spanish agents that they were carrying out an
investigation for counterfeiting currency. Colombian agents had discovered that
the criminal organisation was based in the city of Cali and that it was
preparing an operation to print huge amounts of false euros. In addition, they
found out that the organization specialised in drug trafficking and
counterfeiting had decided to move the printing of counterfeit euros to Europe,
in order to facilitate its introduction into the financial circuit. For this
reason, the top of the criminal group sent two printers to Spain but only one
managed to pass the border control of the airport.
Once in Spain, the printer arrived from Cali (Colombia)
contacted other members of the organisation in Spain and they moved to the
Canary archipelago, specifically to Gran Canaria where they established their
base for the printing of false euros. After several inquiries, the Spanish
agents verified that the organisation had acquired printers, printer
cartridges, machinery, guillotines, inks, paper, and other effects related to
its criminal activity. With all the information, the investigators deduced that
they were preparing a counterfeit of high-quality 20 and 50 euro bills, so they
established a device to arrest those responsible.