The Portuguese Judicial Police (Polícia Judiciária) has dismantled Europe’s second-largest counterfeit currency network on the dark web. Five individuals have been arrested and are accused of counterfeiting and organized crime. Counterfeit banknotes were seized across Europe, notably in France, Germany, Spain and Portugal, worth over € 1.3 million.
Following the investigation, eight domestic and non-domestic searches were carried out in Portugal. Law enforcement officers seized 1,833 counterfeit banknotes totalling €69,930. Several objects related to the production were also seized, such as computers, printers, security paper with security thread incorporation, holograms and self-adhesive holographic bands, ultraviolet inks and ink cartridges.
Europol supported the operation with counterfeit and dark web experts. The European law enforcement agency also hosted several meetings and issued intelligence notifications. In addition, Europol provided the Portuguese authorities with analytical and operational support during the action day.