Global Illicit Economy’s effect on the Real Economy

It is not hard to imagine that counterfeit money would be pumped into the legitimate economy using sophisticated money laundering networks targeting consumer products companies.  Purchasing products destined for export from the US can be done with these fake currencies. By the time the exporting companies realize they have been duped it would be too late to revert the shipment.  The complexity of the shipping network and the way counterfeiters move these funds make it difficult if not impossible to trace back to the original source.  Colombia for its part is one of the world’s hot spot for counterfeiting banknotes. It is no coincidence that some Colombian importers have also relied on sophisticated drug money laundering schemes, whereby they buy and sell products with the proceeds of drug trafficking, pumping the dirty money into US companies’ coffers.  They same channels are used to funnel counterfeit banknotes.  

Colombia Seizes $6.2 Million in Counterfeit Greenbacks

BOGOTA – Agents with Colombia’s DAS security service found a clandestine printing press in a southern Bogota neighborhood on Wednesday, seized a little more than $6 million in counterfeit $100 bills and arrested one person, authorities said.

The fake money was almost ready to be placed on the market and was going to be sold in Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and the United States, said detectives from the DAS anti-counterfeiting unit.

The printing press was discovered after a raid on a house in the La Fraguita neighborhood, where the DAS found the forged $100 bills to be “of excellent quality.”

Also seized in the raid were assorted other items, including a lithograph, inks, 26 plates with the obverse and reverse of the $100 bill with the series numbers of the original bills, the watermarks and the security filaments.

One of the plates found in the house had the shield of the U.S. Treasury Department on it, DAS said.

On Oct. 7, the DAS seized $6.16 million in counterfeit $100 bills in Soacha, near Bogota, and $3.75 million worth of phony dollars in the southwestern city of Cali, where agents dismantled several illegal printing presses. EFE

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