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OLAF supports italian authorities in dismantling major network of euro counterfeiters

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Press Release No 21/2014
27 November 2014

A large police operation led by the Italian Carabinieri Corp took place on 26 November 2014
targeting an organized criminal group of euro counterfeiters operating from the Naples
region. Precautionary measures - including detention and house arrests - were taken
against 56 persons suspected of being part of this group.

Following an extensive investigation that started in 2012, with the support of the European
Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and of Europol, the Carabinieri Corp was able to trace the methods used by this criminal group to gain control of the international counterfeit euro market.

It emerged that the group was responsible for distributing counterfeit money worldwide
through a complex network of operations. The countries that were most affected by this
criminal activity were France, Spain, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Senegal,
Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. Arrests were made yesterday in several Italian cities on
charges of production and distribution of counterfeit money and of involvement in organized

In relation to this same case, in January 2013, an illegal mint was dismantled in the
presence of experts from OLAF's European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC). They
provided technical expertise in examining the coins and established possible links with other
counterfeit euro cases across Europe. ETSC assists law enforcement agencies by providing
technical expertise in examining the coins and equipment seized and by coordinating
technical actions to protect euro coins against counterfeiting.

The mission of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is threefold: it protects the financial interests of the European Union by investigating fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities; it detects and investigates serious matters relating to the discharge of professional duties by members and staff of the EU institutions and bodies that could result in disciplinary or criminal proceedings; and it supports the EU institutions, in particular the European Commission, in the development and implementation of anti-fraud legislation and policies.

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