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March 7, 2021

DIICOT shuts down Italian mob’s counterfeit money factory

Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) prosecutors have discovered a counterfeit money factory in Oradea, Bihor County, and have detained several persons that are allegedly part of a mafia clan from Naples. The investigators have discovered EUR 11.6 M in a house and EUR 90,000 at a landfill where the members of the group were planning to burn them, judicial sources have stated for Mediafax, pointing out that the crime group suspected of counterfeiting and using counterfeit Euros was made up of members of the Italian mafia as well as Romanian citizens.
Four Italians are suspected of counterfeiting, along with several other persons including Romanians, banknotes of EUR 20, 50 and 100, through a company owned by an Italian man, using the “offset method” as a printing and counterfeiting technique.
Three suspects were detained on Friday and were about to be arraigned before the Bihor Court on Saturday, prosecutors asking for them to be placed under preventive arrest.
According to the prosecutors handling the case, the money counterfeited in Oradea were stored at the headquarters of companies located in Bihor County, and were then distributed to EU countries by a company owned by an Italian man, a transport of almost EUR 19 M consisting of counterfeited EUR 50 banknotes being discovered in Italy, DIICOT informs.
“The members of the group were procuring the paper and ink as well as the other materials needed and were printing the counterfeit banknotes at a location in Bihor County,” the DIICOT prosecutors inform.
The money counterfeited in large quantities were stored at the headquarters of companies and were then transported and distributed to European Union countries.
DIICOT prosecutors took notice of the existence of this organized crime group on October 25, 2013 and monitored it for 11 months.
On September 22, as part of their cooperation with Italian judicial authorities, a transport of counterfeit Euros was intercepted in Italy, the sum of EUR 18.9 M being confiscated. The counterfeit money had been shipped by a company from Romania, owned by Italian R.V., who was arrested near Milan.
On September 25 the DIICOT prosecutors conducted 15 searches at the headquarters of the companies involved and at the suspects’ homes.
Investigators have discovered and confiscated approximately EUR 13 M in counterfeit money, molds, holograms and other materials used in counterfeiting banknotes, DIICOT prosecutors pointed out.
Likewise, approximately 55,000 counterfeit banknotes were discovered at the landfill in Oradea, on the waste selection conveyor belt, “with there being reasonable suspicion that they are the product of the foreign banknote counterfeiting operation conducted by the organized crime group led by suspect R.V.,” and in another location counterfeit banknotes that were torn or burnt were also found, the prosecutors point out.
The investigators have brought in for hearings 20 suspects and witnesses in this case. The Romanian Police has pointed out that the clandestine printing house was discovered at the headquarters of a company, EUR 50 banknotes being counterfeited there.

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