The Spanish authorities have taken down a sophisticated organised crime group involved in the distribution of high quality counterfeit Euro banknotes, fraud and money laundering.
The international operation was coordinated by the Europol enforcement agency with forces in Spain, Sweden and Germany.
In Spain the Spanish Civil Guard and National Police raided 16 properties in Alicante and Sevilla which led to the arrest of 37 people (mainly Colombian and Spanish nationals).
The raids resulted in the seizure of €202,000 worth in counterfeit €500 banknotes, €12,000 worth in bitcoins, anabolics and weapons as well as €32,000 in cash.
The Spanish authorities had tipped off Europol through their own investigation which was triggered in October 2019 by the detection of counterfeit banknotes in several cities in the Spanish province of Granada.
The suspects were using money mules to introduce the fake notes into the mainstream legal circuit by using the notes in ATM payments into a number of Spanish banks.
The arrested suspects are presently in police custody awaiting trial.