Colombia cracks down on criminal organization’s counterfeiting schemes

Global Business

Colombia cracks down on criminal organization's counterfeiting schemes

Colombian authorities say they seized the equivalent of nearly $ 12 million in counterfeit money during a raid last month.

According to U.S. officials, Colombia is among the top two countries in the region with the highest production of bogus bills.

CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports from Colombia.

Colombia cracks down on criminal organization’s counterfeiting schemes

Colombia cracks down on criminal organization’s counterfeiting schemes

Colombian authorities say they seized the equivalent of nearly $ 12 million in counterfeit money during a raid last month. According to U.S. officials, Colombia is among the top two countries in the region with the highest production of bogus bills. CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports from Colombia.

Back in 2013, Peru overtook Colombia as the leading producer of counterfeit U.S. dollars in the world. But while the amount of fake money in Colombia has gone down, the U.S. Secret Service said those who produced bogus bills were getting particularly good at it.

Colombian bank authorities said, the prospect of sending counterfeit dollars to neighboring Ecuador made it very appealing and convenient. Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency 16 years ago.

Officials from Colombia’s Central Bank said they were determined to catch the criminals but pointed out the fake currency has had minimal impact on the local economy.

“That is why it’s important for Colombian citizens to pay attention to our campaigns so they can detect counterfeit money when it’s first distributed,” Nestor Plazas from Central Bank of Colombia said.

In the latest Colombian government crackdown, 11 people were arrested after circulating more than $33 million worth of fake notes.


Gangs in Peru producing more counterfeit bills

The Peruvian city of Lima is the fake dollar capital of the world. For the past four years, the U.S. government has declared Peru the world’s leading producer of fake US currency.

CCTV America’s Dan Collyns reports from Lima and took a closer look at this lucrative underground business.

Follow Dan Collyns on Twitter @CCTV_dancollyns

Gangs in Peru producing more counterfeit bills

Gangs in Peru producing more counterfeit bills

The Peruvian city of Lima is the fake dollar capital of the world. For the past four years, the U.S. government has declared Peru the world’s leading producer of fake US currency. CCTV America’s Dan Collyns reports from Lima and took a closer look at this lucrative underground business.

“We seized nearly half a million dollars in just two weeks. That’s put us on alert – our airport in Lima has connections to the whole world,” Colonel Walter Escalante, head of Peru’s Police Fraud division said. Escalante estimated his fraud squad have seized around $75 million since 2009.

But someone said anonymously that this veteran counterfeiter said his gang was producing an average of 3 to 5 million dollars in fake $100 bills every week, and each fake $100 bill is worth around $20 to $25 on the black market.

Counterfeiter said they had a texture that was as close as a real bill. He also said their finishing touches were of the highest quality.

“We are talking about a non-violent crime. They are mafias they don’t use guns or explosives they don’t kill each other, they are creative more than anything,” a counterfeiter said. “They think: Why should I carry drugs when I can falsify dollars. The prison terms are shorter.”