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Argentina closes counterfeit note printing operations

After a more than 18-month investigation, Argentina's Federal Police was able to dismantle an international ring that was specialized in the counterfeiting of dollars and pesos for multiple markets on large scales. The Buenos Aires Times published the news on August 17.

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Argentina closes counterfeit note printing operations

After 20 raids in and around Buenos Aires, 16 people from Argentina, Peru and Uruguay were detained Aug. 11. Forgeries worth $150,000 U.S. and 780,000 Argentine Pesos were seized by authorities. 1,600 Brazilian reais and genuine cash were also seized: 2,016,430 Argentine and 30,580 Uruguayan Pesos as well as $14,600.

The hardest part of the investigation, according to police, was finding the production sites. Police have located at least two printing presses in Argentina so far, one in Buenos Aires Province (population 9 de Julio), more than 155 miles west and another in Rosario Santa Fe Province (population 186 miles northwest).

Police also found bank notes that were forged in other countries. This evidence suggests that there was a network of financiers, distributors, and fences who introduced the fake money into the financial system.

The police compared drug trafficking to the distribution part of the operation. A police inspector stated that some members of the group had exchanged money between themselves in order to make it easier to bring the money into foreign markets. He explained, "For instance, they call a ‘litre’ every amount of a fake US$100,000.00 which enters our country via various frontiers. These counterfeiters are part of truly global networks."

The most shocking and frightening detail about the raid was the fact that the group was able successfully forge the U.S. $100 bill along with its blue security ribbon. These were made in Argentina, according to reports.

It's not surprising that one ringleader is Peruvian, which some consider to be the counterfeiting capital in the world.

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