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Police arrest Spanish 'artist' of euro counterfeiters

January 24, 2014

Ashifa Kassam Madrid

One of Europe's top currency forgers has been arrested, Spanish police said. The 60-year-old man, whom police called "a real artist" of counterfeit money, had worked with such a degree of perfectionism that his euros 50 note ranked among Europe's top 10 imitation bills. Following a year-long investigation, officials from Spain's national police and Europol detained the man on Monday in the garage of his house outside Toledo . "It would be easy to fool anyone with these bills. They're very well done," said a chief inspector with the investigation, adding that the man was a self-taught graphic artist who had worked in printing. Police said the quality of the man's bills - and the sheer volume he produced - had made him one of the top counterfeiters in Europe . "This type of counterfeiter," said the inspector, "they have a big ego and a big drive to excel. The better it's made, the more popular it will be." Full pages of printed-out euros 50 notes sat on a worktable, waiting to be cut. Rejected notes sat in the rubbish bin. Along with his euros 50 notes, police found stacks of dollar bills, which will be sent to the US for analysis. Police say the man also falsified passports for various countries. His euros crisscrossed the continent, ending up as far away as Germany and Romania . Police were able to recoup notes worth euros 310,000 (pounds 255,000) but estimate that euros 1m of counterfeit notes is still floating around Spain. The reach of the man's notes was even more impressive for the fact that he had only started counterfeiting two years ago.

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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