Five People Arrested Over Counterfeit Sale on Dark Web


Counterfeit Currency Sale on Dark Web: The Portuguese police have arrested five people; three indicated as Portuguese and two as French, who were found selling fake currency notes on the Darknet. According to the Portuguese police, these suspects have been selling the fake notes for more than three years and have easily done this with the aid of the anonymous part of the internet that only special search engines can access thus the Darknet.

The police spoke-person Luis Ribeiro indicated that among the five suspects was their Baron who was located in Colombia where he operated as a boss of the Portugal-based network but was deported back to his country following his arrest.

Also from the Portuguese police spoke-person, the five arrested suspects were not only men but included two women, who are between the ages of 20 to 60 years.

Furthermore, the police indicated that the counterfeit selling business has made the suspects a lot of money and they have gradually penetrated to various Darknet marketplaces that host buyers from all part of the world.

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Counterfeit selling on the Darknet is referred to as a goldmine for many people, mainly because it brings a lot of profit to the sellers.

However, Europol in cooperative efforts with government authorities across Europe and the United State have constantly invaded on larger networks of people producing and selling fake notes on the Darknet such as the case that was reported last year by Europol where about 235 people were detained from a mass counterfeit network discovery operation by Europol and other authorities from 13 countries. With that case, almost 180 of the discoveries were in Germany, 28 in France, 20 in Italy and the others in Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Netherland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.

However,  with the case of the five suspects arrested by the Portuguese police, their Portugal-based network was making more than 26,000 fake currency notes nominally priced above a million Euros.

These counterfeit notes were basically distributed in Germany, France, Spain and the country of operation thus Portugal. Although, occasionally the fake notes were circulated across other parts of the world.

Statements from the Portuguese police indicate how the five suspects advertise their fake currency notes on some of the biggest marketplaces on the Darknet. The means of ordering the fake notes were mainly done by private messaging on the marketplaces or encrypted chat platforms, the police added.

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The Portuguese police were assisted by Europol to bring down or collapsed the network in an operation code-named Deep Money. As per Europol, the network of the suspects was estimated to be the second biggest network among its kind recently discovered in Europe.

The Portuguese police were able to seize tools and materials they used to produce the fake notes such as computers, printers, holographic stickers and ultraviolet inks and also managed to collect and seize more than 1,800 fake currency notes priced at almost 70,000 Euros.

Finally, with confirmation of the Portuguese criminal investigation police that the five suspects did not only involve in counterfeit note production but also in other organized crimes, there is no doubt that charges on these suspect can bring them a sentence of not less than 6 years.

Source: Reuters

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