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<span style="font-weight: 400"><font size="3">Increase in Receipt of Intelligence </font></span>

Increase in Receipt of Intelligence

Cooperation in the fight against Euro counterfeiting yields good results. Joint Investigation Team set up and 20 significant print shops dismantled in 2003. The Hague, The Netherlands, January 22, 2004. Source: EUROPOL.

During the second half of 2003, Europol markedly increased its level of support to Member States in the field of Euro forgery. Further counterfeited Euro banknotes were recovered and removed from circulation by the competent law enforcement agencies both within the EU and outside. Furthermore, large quantities were also prevented from circulating both with and without the support of Europol.

  • Measuring Success

In 2003, twenty significant clandestine print shops were dismantled, of which eleven were operating in offset printing techniques and nine digital. Amongst these, five offset and two digital printing shops were located outside the Euro-zone. In addition two clandestine mint shops were also dismantled within the EU.

In terms of quantity the European Central Bank (ECB) confirmed that around 550,000 counterfeit Euro notes were taken out of circulation in 2003.

  • The nature of Cooperation

Europol has assimilated responsibility as the European Central Office for the suppression of Euro counterfeiting. Cooperation with the European Central Bank, Interpol, USSS (United State Secret Service) and mainly with the competent National Central Offices functioned well.

This combination of immense effort and superior has given Member States authorities the ability to impose further considerable pressure on the criminal Euro counterfeiting organisations.. However, additional improvements are necessary in terms of common European legislation to boost mutual investigations.

  • Operational

Europol’s supportive role in gathering and analysing data and intelligence has also led to the initiation of investigations in non-EU countries with which Europol and the Member States of the EU have cooperation agreements. Thanks to the nature of this cooperation substantial operational results have been achieved in a number of non-EU countries. These include the identification of illegal printshops producing high-quality counterfeit currency for distribution via networks throughout Europe from within countries such as Lithuania, Poland, Serbia and Bulgaria.

With the establishment of an international Joint Investigation Team, Europol has started a number of major cases to target criminal groups based in non-EU countries. So far these groups have been isolated as dealing with counterfeit Euro currency and have partially been identified.

  • Assessing the extent of the problem

The intelligence analysed at Europol indicates that the network of criminal groups based both outside and inside the EU is well established and fosters formidable working relationships. Counterfeit Euro notes are imported from the main producing countries via several means of transportation. Deprived or unemployed people are frequently deceived by false pretences and unfeasible promises and exploited to courier the merchandise into the EU.

Europol’s partners are dramatically increasing the demand for Europol to enhance its operational activities. Furthermore, Europol’s support role for investigations in non-EU countries is only restrained by budgetary commitments and the flow of information via Europol is in a continual state of growth. This is clearly demonstrated by the increase in the number of cases and individuals that have been reported to Europol. More than 2,410 cases – an increase of 112% in respect of last year (1,132 cases) - and 1,978 perpetrators - an increase of 91% (1,031 perpetrators) - in respect of 2002, suspects or arrested individuals identified as responsible for the manufacture and/or distribution of counterfeit Euro notes, have been entered into the system.


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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